Home London News Officer Zalesskiy ‘punched and kicked boy, 14, then made false statements’

Officer Zalesskiy ‘punched and kicked boy, 14, then made false statements’

Alexei Zalesskiy and Conor Ryan

Metropolitan Police officers Alexei Zalesskiy, and Conor Ryan, were sacked by the force after body-worn footage revealed they punched and kicked a 14 year old boy then lied in their official documentation, an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct has revealed.

In April 2021, Alexei Zalesskiy and Conor Ryan were accused of using excessive force against a 14-year-old boy who was part of a group of youths congregated in Finsbury Park, north London.

When police attempted to disperse the group, the child became agitated because he felt he was being roughly handled. He began yelling at officers and spat in one officer’s face before fleeing from them; they pursued him on foot and arrested him for assaulting an officer.

The youth was placed in restraints and detained for assaulting an emergency worker and violating public order. The youth was not charged, and there were no further actions taken.

During the IOPC investigation, it was determined that Zalesskiy attacked him at least once and that Ryan kicked him in the neck and head region and kneed him in the thigh.

The evidence acquired by IOPC investigators included police body-worn video and CCTV footage depicting the officers striking and stomping the child.

The IOPC stated that they discovered evidence that the officers lied in their initial statements regarding the incident.

In April 2021, the Metropolitan police service (MPS) voluntarily referred the behaviour of the officers for investigation. The Crown Prosecution Service determined not to prosecute the officers.

The officers violated police standards of professional conduct for use of force and honesty and integrity, as determined by a disciplinary hearing conducted by the force and presided over by an impartial and legally-qualified chair, which concluded on Wednesday.

The dismissals are the latest in a series of Met officers convicted of gross misconduct.

Amanda Rowe, the director of the IOPC, said of the latest sackings: “The force used on this child was neither reasonable nor proportionate in the circumstances.

“The public must have confidence that when officers are required to use force to detain and arrest members of the public, they will only use the minimum amount of force necessary.

“To compound matters, they then tried to justify their actions by lying on their initial statements following the incident. Their dismissals send a strong message that there will be serious consequences for police officers who use gratuitous violence and are dishonest about their actions.

“Both officers will also be added to the police barred list, preventing them from future employment with any police service.”

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