‘Lesbian Nana’ police officer investigation after viral video of pepper spray incident

Police officer uses pepper spray on group of people

West Yorkshire Police are investigating an officer – believed to be the same one previously accused of “manhandling” an autistic girl who called her “lesbian nana” – regarding a pepper spray incident in Leeds. 

In August, a video of a 16-year-old autistic girl being arrested for a homophobic public order offence because she said an officer looked like her grandmother, who is a lesbian, went viral. 

In a TikTok video, the girl’s mother, Lisa Rozycki, accused the force of being “bullies in uniform” after her daughter was dragged from her home by officers, despite being told that she suffers with scoliosis and a twisted spine.

At the time, West Yorkshire Police told PinkNews that the girl was intoxicated and was driven home from the city centre by officers, where she made the “you look like my nana, who’s a lesbian” comment. Following her arrest, the girl faced no further action following the alleged remark.

In a new incident, seen in a clip being widely shared on social media, it is believed that the same officer who arrested the girl can be seen yelling “get back” and pepper-spraying a crowd of people in Leeds. 

A spokesperson for the police, quoted by The Telegraph, said: “[We are] aware of footage circulating on social media around some disorder on Third Avenue, Rothwell, on Sunday (22 October) afternoon.

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“The matter is being investigated and body-worn footage [is] currently being reviewed. A referral has been made to the Professional Standards Directorate.”

In a press statement, the police said Sunday’s incident occurred after 5pm and three officers were injured following a disturbance, after a car was stopped and suspected Class A and B drugs, and an offensive weapon, were allegedly recovered. 

Two men were arrested under suspicion of assaulting police officers, possession of controlled drugs and possession of a knife and an offensive weapon. An investigation is ongoing. 

“As is standard following any arrest where force is used, the body-worn video of the attending officers will be reviewed in conjunction with social media footage,” the statement read.  

“Any breaches of the standards of professional behaviour identified will be assessed and dealt with in line with police conduct regulation.”

Anyone who can assist the police is asked to contact Leeds District CID, quoting the crime reference number 13230587319.