A policeman is at the centre of a conduct probe after a man claimed he was arrested upon asking the officer to keep his distance because he wasn’t wearing PPE.
Brian McLeod was scheduled to finish his shift at The Victor Fish Bar on Blackness Road when he parked up a work vehicle on nearby Blackness Street.
The 48-year-old was approached by an officer regarding a damaged headlight, before a row broke out and the situation escalated to the point where he was twice placed in handcuffs.
He said the exchange between both of them became heated because he felt the officer was standing too close while not wearing PPE.
Brian said the officer brought up his record, which detailed warrants dating back more than four years.
He added: “Both myself and the officer got a wee bit heated verbally. I kept telling him to keep his distance as he wasn’t wearing a mask, and explained the previous incidents were all dealt with.
“I realise the police have a job to do but given the climate around the pandemic I didn’t feel the situation merited him coming so close to me – I then told him he was ‘too close’ which he laughed at.”
Brian has claimed he told the officer he was going to get his coat from his car, parked on the same street, when the officer restrained him, and then he was arrested.
He added: “The situation had calmed down prior to that and I said to the officer ‘I’m away to get my coat’ as I was only in shorts and T-shirt. He came from behind and placed me in the cuffs which were far too tight.”
Brian claims the officer then placed him in the cuffs for a second time after removing them and repositioning his arms in front of him.
He added: “One of my work colleagues came over during the episode and I think that helped to de-escalate the situation, I was released from the cuffs in about 60 seconds without charge.”
Brian asked for the officer’s details before submitting a complaint to Maryfield Police Station and online.
He added: “After my shift I went straight to Maryfield to complain. The whole situation didn’t merit what happened, the cuffs were too tight and there was no awareness of social distancing.
“I work in a chip shop and have been wearing a mask and adhering to the guidelines set out for the safety of myself and the customers. At one point the officer was so close he was practically spitting on me.”
A spokesman for the force confirmed an investigation is under way.
He said: “We have received a complaint which is being investigated and it would be inappropriate to comment further.”