Maybe you’ve seen the viral video of the London police officer smashing a man’s windscreen. Over the weekend, footage of a violent altercation involving a police officer in Gospel Oak, North London, received over 1.5 million views after being shared online.
Leon Fontana, 25, posted the video on his Facebook with the caption: “What would you do? This is a daily occurrence for me and my friends”. The video was given another boost when it was shared by Mega, a member of So-Solid Crew. “I've been handled exactly like this before by local police in the past sitting a car minding my own business eating chips," he told Dazed. “I'm glad the individuals are getting contacted regarding this incident and I'm just hoping that actions like this will not be a regular occurrence by the police over a so-called traffic offence.”
The officers in the video have now been identified and placed on “restricted duties” after The Metropolitan Police received an official complaint. In the two-minute clip, the officer asks Fontana to step out of his vehicle in what is now being described as a case of ‘mistaken identity’. To show he won't drive off, Fontana removes the keys from the ignition and provides information about his licence. Despite this, the policeman then proceeds to smash his windscreen and window. He can be heard shouting “You’re not allowed to drive,” as he then uses a knife to make a bigger hole in the glass.
Speaking to the Guardian, Fontana explained that every time the officer smashed the glass, “fragments of glass were just ricocheting in my face”. You can also hear the policemen wrongly refer to Fontana as "TJ" to which he responds "I'm not TJ!". He then adds that he is recording for his own safety. The police have not said who TJ is but one of Fontana's Facebook friends commented on the video saying: "You look nothing like TJ. Not like they even mistook you for him. He is a complete loonatic (sic)!"
The Metropolitan Police have said that they are aware of the footage and have launched an investigation.