UK

Rapper Wretch 32's father Tasered by London police

Wretch 32 pitch side at the UEFA Champions League Semi Final in May 2019 Image copyright PA Media

Rapper Wretch 32 has spoken about the lack of progression on "police brutality" in the UK as he shared footage of his father being Tasered.

The 35-year-old posted a video on Twitter of Millard Scott falling downstairs after being Tasered by officers in north London, in April.

Speaking to ITV News, Mr Scott, 62, said he believed he would not have been Tasered if he were white.

The Met Police said a review had found "no indication of misconduct".

A spokesman for the force said officers went to the property as part of "a long-running operation to tackle drugs supply linked to serious violence".

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has called for an urgent investigation by the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

Describing the incident as "distressing", Mr Khan said: "It is absolutely vital that our police service retains the trust of the communities it serves."

Scotland Yard later said it would not refer the incident to the IOPC.

It comes amid global protests against racism, inequality and police brutality, following the death of George Floyd, 46, in Minneapolis, in the US, after a white police officer was filmed kneeling on his neck.

Thousands of people have attended largely peaceful demonstrations across the UK in recent days to mark Mr Floyd's death, and highlight racial inequality in Britain.

Wretch 32, whose real name is Jermaine Scott, shared the 36-second clip on his Twitter account with the caption: "This is how the police think they can treat a 62 year old black man in Tottenham but this 1 happens to be my dad."

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Media captionMillard Scott was Tasered by officers after they entered his home in April

It shows Mr Scott falling down the stairs after an officer is heard to warn: "Police officer with a Taser. Stay where you are."

As officers ask if he is OK and tell him to keep still, a distressed woman can be heard saying: "They've Tasered him."

Mr Scott told ITV News he was "lucky to be alive".

He said: "The only people who have invaded our space are the Metropolitan Police. The only people who seem to ignore the guidelines put out there are the Metropolitan Police.

"It seems at this moment in time we are being singled out and targeted."

How often are Tasers used?

Last year, police forces in England and Wales used Tasers on 22,059 occasions - but in only 2,473 occasions were they actually fired.

On most occasions, the Tasers were drawn and aimed, but not actually discharged.

Proportionally, black people have the weapons used against them eight times more often than white people.

The use of Tasers has more than doubled in the five years to 2018-19, as more police forces are equipped with them.

The College of Policing says that police officers must clearly communicate their intention to use the weapon and any use must be "proportionate, lawful, accountable and absolutely necessary".

Wretch 32 told the broadcaster that there has been "no progression" and he now warns his own children to be wary of the police.

He said: "I've grown up in a household with a dad and uncle and I've watched them fight against police brutality.

"I'm 35 now and I have to have the same conversation with my children that my father and grandfather had with me.

"That means there's no progression."

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "As officers entered the premises, a man came downstairs and started moving towards an officer suddenly.

"He was ordered to remain where he was but continued towards officers who, after several warnings, deployed a Taser.

"The man was not arrested, but was assessed by the London Ambulance Service at the scene. He did not require further medical treatment.

"Officers from the North Area Command Unit have liaised with the family to discuss any concerns they have about the incident.

"The incident, including body-worn footage, has been reviewed by the Met's directorate of professional standards and no indication of misconduct has been identified."

Police said a 22-year-old man found in the house was arrested and charged with encouraging another to commit an offence, while a 52-year-old woman was charged with obstructing police after being interviewed under caution at a later date.

The force said in a further statement that, following examination of the body-worn footage, it believed the incident "does not meet the criteria for a referral to the IOPC".