THREE police constables have been served with gross misconduct notices over their actions during the fatal road pursuit of Holloway teenager Lewis Johnson, bringing the total number of officers under investigation in the case to five.
25 MARCH 2016 | BY KOOS COUVÉE FOR ISLINGTON TRIBUNE
Lewis, 18, was on a white Vespa scooter when he collided with a van in Clapton Common on February 10 after a chase by police which started in Dalston. Another man, aged 19, who was sitting on the back of the scooter, was injured in the crash. Lewis died at the scene.
On Monday, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) announced that three police constables who were in the two cars chasing the moped have been served with gross misconduct notices as part of the investigation.In a statement, the IPCC said that “during a pursuit officers are expected to communicate with the force control room”.
Last month, another police constable and a sergeant – the drivers of the cars – were served with gross misconduct notices and advised they are under criminal investigation. It does not mean that criminal charges will necessarily follow, the watchdog said.
All five officers have been put on “restricted duties” while the watchdog carries out its investigation.
Commenting on the development, Andre Clovis, solicitor acting on behalf of Lewis’s family, said: “The IPCC has kept us updated with their proposed courses of action.
“They have assured us they will conduct a thorough investigation into the circumstances of this pursuit, which ultimately led to Lewis’s death, but we understand their investigation is still at an early stage.
“We know very little at this moment in time and so await sight of their report into those circumstances.”
The watchdog said that investigators have collected CCTV evidence, examined all relevant vehicles and taken accounts from the majority of potential witnesses.
Scotland Yard said that on February 10 police were called to reports that a moped had made off after a suspected theft in Kingsland Road at 11.16am. Officers attended the scene, and moments later spotted a moped fitting the description they had been given in Stamford Road, Dalston.
The Met said officers gave chase after the moped Lewis was riding failed to stop for police. A police helicopter was also called.
Following a two-mile chase the moped collided with a van in Clapton Common.
The pillion passenger was arrested on suspicion of theft and has been bailed until a date in late April, pending further inquiries.
Lewis’s death happened just over a year after 18-year-old Henry Hicks, from Barnsbury, died in a collision at the junction of Wheelwright Street and Roman Way, opposite Pentonville Prison, in Holloway, after he was chased by police officers in unmarked cars.
In Henry’s case, which has been hugely controversial, the IPCC concluded that the actions of the pursuing officers “may constitute driving and health and safety offences”.