Lurgan Park incident involving disabled woman being removed by PSNI under investigation by Police Ombudsman

The Office of the Police Ombudsman NI has launched an investigation after two PSNI officers were videoed physically removing a disabled woman from Lurgan Park by her arms.

Thursday, 29th July 2021, 4:24 pm
Updated Friday, 30th July 2021, 9:32 am

The video, which has been widely shared across social media, appears to show the woman, who is a wheelchair user, being dragged by the officers gripping her arms as her legs are trailed behind.

Another officer appears to be walking behind pushing a wheelchair.

Last night (Thursday) a spokesperson for the PSNI said: "The matter has now been referred by the Deputy Chief Constable to the Police Ombudsman who will carry out an independent investigation."

Lurgan Park in Lurgan, Co Armagh. The Police Ombudsman NI is investigating an incident in which a disable woman was videoed being carried out of Lurgan Park by two PSNI officers. Photo courtesy of Google.

Statement issued by Lurgan solicitor

Lurgan solicitor Pat Vernon, who is representing the woman in the video, said: "We have been instructed by our client today (Tuesday) in relation to an incident which occurred yesterday evening (Monday) at Lurgan Park involving our client and police officers from the PSNI.

"The said events have been the subject of widespread coverage, both on social media and in the mainstream press.

"Our client is deeply distressed by what occurred and we are determined to help her get answers to her questions as to what happened and why.

"We have been instructed to lodge a complaint with The Office of the Police Ombudsman for Northern Ireland and in order to allow a full and proper investigation by the Ombudsman, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further at this stage."

The Office of the Police Ombudsman NI also issued a statement

A spokesperson for the Police Ombudsman NI said: “The PSNI has asked the Police Ombudsman to conduct an independent investigation in relation to an incident involving police at Lurgan Park on Monday evening.

"We have also received a public complaint about the same incident, and have begun an investigation into the circumstances of what happened and the actions of the officers involved.”

Lurgan politician says there is community concern after the incident

Sinn Féin Councillor Liam Mackle has expressed concern at images appearing to show a woman with disabilities being physically removed from Lurgan Park by the PSNI.

Cllr Liam Mackle said: “Images appearing to show a young woman with disabilities being physically removed from Lurgan Park by the PSNI are very concerning.

“Sinn Féin shares the concerns of the wider community about this incident.

“The Police Ombudsman should now investigate this incident to find out exactly what happened.

“It’s imperative that the PSNI always act in a way which protects the rights and dignity of all citizens.”