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Shocking moment innocent cyclist is ‘ferociously punched’ by disgraced officer in lockdown stop-and-search is revealed – as colleague who pepper sprayed him escapes with a warning and will keep her job
- Sergeant Jennifer Edwards has been given a final written warning this week
- Her colleague was previously sacked from the force and jailed for the assault
- For help and support, contact the Samaritans for free, anonymously, on 116 123
Shocking footage has emerged showing a brutal attack on a cyclist by a disgraced police officer, who was filmed punching and kicking the 44-year-old while his female colleague pepper sprayed him twice.
West Midlands Police officer Declan Jones was jailed for the assault on cyclist Michael Rose in Birmingham, as well as a second assault less than 24 hours later on a 15-year-old schoolboy.
Mr Jones died by suicide shortly after his release from prison in December 2021. He had been due to stand trial for a third assault in October 2022.
Sgt Jennifer Edwards, who was on patrol with Jones during the first incident, has kept her job despite being found to have committed misconduct over the stop-and-search following a misconduct hearing this week.
The footage shows cyclist Mr Rose being grabbed off his bike and walked over to the police car.
PC Declan Jones was sacked by West Midlands Police and spent time in prison after being found guilty of assault
Sergeant Jennifer Edwards has been given a final written warning this week, which will remain on her record for four years
While Sgt Edwards held him down on the bonnet of the car, Jones punched him three times in the back while appearing to bang his head on the bonnet.
The officer appears to punch the cyclist again and then knee him as his colleague handcuffed him.
Several passers-by appealed to the officer to stop, including one who could clearly be seen attempting to calm the situation on CCTV, but Jones responded by body slamming Mr Rose against the car.
Sgt Jennifer Edwards has now escaped with a final written warning after she was accused of ‘unreasonably’ using pepper spray on innocent Michael Rose in Aston in April 2020.
At a force disciplinary hearing almost three years on, Sgt Edwards – who was said to have pepper-sprayed Mr Rose twice – denied breaching professional standards.
The victim was ‘walloped and ferociously punched’ on Frederick Road, the panel heard.
Publishing the outcome, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, which investigated the case over 11 months, said misconduct had been proven and Sgt Edwards had been handed a final written warning which would stay on her record for four years.
A spokesperson said: ‘At a two-day gross misconduct hearing organised by the force, which concluded on Tuesday, February 7, PS Edwards was found to have breached police standards of professional behaviour for use of force at the lower level of misconduct.
‘This was in respect of her use of PAVA spray on the second occasion during the incident.
‘She was also found to have breached the standards for conduct and for duties and responsibilities for not showing the man courtesy, consideration and respect and non-compliance with the requirements of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE).
‘The independently chaired disciplinary panel ruled that the officer’s actions amounted to misconduct – rather than gross misconduct – and handed PS Edwards a final written warning which will stay on her record for four years.’
On Monday, February 6, a hearing heard how Sgt Edwards followed and searched Mr Rose alongside PC Jones before PAVA spray was discharged twice.
A breach of standards in relation to the reason given for the stop-and-search was not proven.
Mr Rose and his stepfather Bernard Jones gave evidence on the first day of proceedings. The misconduct hearing was shown CCTV of the alleged incident from a nearby home. It showed Mr Rose being pressed against a car by the two officers at the height of lockdown.
Mr Rose said he felt uncomfortable because the officers were not wearing face masks. But he insisted he had ‘nothing to hide’.
Michael Rose, 44, was sprayed with pepper spray twice and repeatedly punched during the incident
‘That’s why I didn’t move,’ he said. ‘I had nothing to hide so I stayed there. I had never been stopped by the police before. That was the first time I had ever been.’
He added: ‘They had no masks. I was trying to keep myself away from them. They were roughing me up. I didn’t want them in my face.
‘I was being roughed up for no reason. He slammed me against the car. Look, he is pushing my face down. He is taking off my mask and breathing in my face.’
Michelle Heeley, defending Sgt Edwards, said she had been talking to Mr Rose ‘nicely and helped him with his injuries’.
But Mr Rose shot back: ‘Does that look like they’re talking to me nicely? It looks like he’s punching me. I said to wait until the witness comes. Why was he handcuffing me when the witness had not come to see if the bike had been stolen or not?’
Later on in the video, Mr Rose’s stepfather Bernard Jones could be seen confronting Sgt Edwards and PC Jones. Giving evidence, Mr Jones – who lived on Frederick Road – described the attack as ‘vicious’.
‘He wasn’t resisting,’ Mr Jones said. ‘He was telling people to keep their distance. [PC Jones] walloped him three times with full force. Mikey is only a little thing.’
The hearing came more than a year after fellow officer Declan Jones died four months after being found guilty of assault while on duty in relation to two attacks during lockdown.
He was recorded on CCTV pulling the 44-year-old cyclist to the floor in Birmingham, before punching and kicking him and later pushing his face into the bonnet of a patrol vehicle.
Less than 24 hours later he was filmed kicking and punching the black teenager after wrongly accusing him of possessing drugs in the Newtown area of the city.
Following the outcome, community leader Bishop Desmond Jaddoo released a statement on behalf of Mr Rose and Mr John.
He said: ‘We welcome the findings against Sergeant Edwards, who was the senior officer on the scene at the time when this occurred. In the view of Mr Rose and Mr John [she] did nothing to de-escalate the attack Mr Rose was subjected to.
‘Although she has not lost her job, which in our opinion should have happened, we do welcome the final warning.
‘It is time the West Midlands Police Federation takes stock. I believe some officers have stereotypical views when policing inner-city areas and this is not a great advert for community relations.
‘However, on this occasion, the police officer has been held to account and it is hoped that moving forward community relations will improve. We must remember the police need the community and the community need the police.’
For confidential support call the Samaritans for free from a UK phone on 116 123 or visit www.samaritans.org for more information.
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