Three English police officers have been fired five years after dragging a student to a van.
In 2013, 19-year-old Julian Cole was wrestled to the ground by a club worker in Bedford, England, after being kicked out and asking for his money back. When police arrived on the scene, they took Cole to the ground again.
Officers claimed he was able to both walk to their van and hold a conversation while inside the vehicle, Metro reports. However, recently released footage tells a different story.
After arriving at the police station, Cole was found to have a broken neck. The teen suffered cardiac arrest, brain damage and eventually fell into a vegetative state after the incident.
On Monday, the three police constables involved, Hannah Ross, Sanjeev Kalyan and Nicholas Oates, were found guilty of gross misconduct for lying about the night’s events. Sergeant Andrew Withey was charged with misconduct for his failure to complete welfare checks, the Justice Gap reports.
In a CCTV video capturing the aftermath of the incident, the officers can be seen dragging a limp Cole to their van while his head dangled and laying him on the ground. Cole does not appear responsive.
Three lying police officers sacked after dragging paralysed student to van https://t.co/zVkTphYMgS via @MetroUK pic.twitter.com/mdrbzBAJTy— Richard HP (@richardhp) October 23, 2018
“Today is a good day for us,” Cole’s mother, Claudia Cole, told Metro. “When we first saw Julian in a coma and on life support five-and-a-half years ago, and the police officer told us that he had been ‘chatty’ in the police van, we suspected a cover-up.”
With footage confirming her beliefs that the officers both lied and failed their duty to protect, the police department is now able to move forward.
“Julian Cole was a young, athletic man whose life was changed forever,” Sarah Green, the Independent Office of Police Conduct’s regional director, told Metro. “It will never be known exactly how his neck was broken, or if swifter care could have prevented the awful consequences of the break.”
What Green is sure of, however, is that the three officers involved are at least partly to blame, as recently evidenced by video footage that reveals their lies.
However, when speaking to Metro, Assistant Chief Constable Jackie Sebire somehow claimed the police played no role in the harm done to Cole.
“It is clear that no evidence was found that any of the officers involved were in any way to blame for the catastrophic injuries suffered by Mr. Cole," Sebire said. "I apologize that their conduct following the incident fell well short of what we expect at Bedfordshire Police.
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