London: Met police officers investigated for allegedly mocking transgender woman in Soho arrest

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a white background.

The Directorate of Professional Standards has launched an investigation after Metropolitan Police officers were accused of mocking a transgender woman during an arrest in the heart of London’s LGBT community.

The Independent reports that witnesses claim officers threw 49-year-old Jose Dos Santos to the ground, handcuffed her, and caused deliberate pain while saying she was “not normal” on Wednesday 22 February at 3pm on Wardour Street in central London.

Witnesses claims she had her wig ripped from her head and that officers allegedly mocked her appearance and said: “You’re not normal. We’ll let you get you up in a few minutes but you need to act like a normal human being.”

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Service said: “This is being investigated by the Directorate of Professional Standards. Total Policing is the Met’s commitment to be on the streets and in your communities to catch offenders, prevent crime and support victims. We are here for London, working with you to make our capital safer.”

Ms Dos Santos was charged under Section 5 of the Public Order Act and appeared by virtual link in Westminster Magistrates Court yesterday where she was bailed until May.

According to those present, officers arrested the woman after she vomited outside the Le Pain Quotidien restaurant. Video  has emerged purporting to show her being held down by police and lying prostrate on the floor.

A police officer is heard saying: “If you keep putting your legs up I’m going to keep standing on them. Just relax”.

The Directorate of Professional Standards has the job of investigating allegations of misconduct made against police officers.