Police Accused Of 'Brutality' After Tower Hamlets Scuffle

11 October 2016, 08:29

Arbour Youth Centre Tower Hamlets Police

A youngster has accused the police of "brutality" after an angry incident was filmed outside a youth centre in Tower Hamlets.

The video shows a man shouting "Why are you lying" at a police officer as he is arrested outside the Arbour Youth Centre in Stepney on Sunday evening.

The officer then accuses the man of spitting at him and appears to get him in a headlock.

That led the man's friends to scream "Why are you holding his head?"

On the Arbour Youth Centre Facebook page, the man in the video wrote: "As you can see from the video, I am subject to a vicious assault and police brutality. I did not spit at anyone!

"I have no dealings with the police, nor am I known to the police, wanted, nor was I in the process of committing a crime or equipped to carry out an offence."

A Met Police statement to LBC read: "On Saturday, 8 October Neighbourhood Officers from Tower Hamlets were out on routine patrol in Shandy Street, E1, and spoke to some young men due to concerns about anti-social behaviour in this area.

"At 20:10 the officers called for additional assistance. One man was arrested on suspicion of assault on police and a section 5 Public Order Act Offence. He has since been bailed.

"Senior officers at Tower Hamlets are aware of the footage of the arrest being circulated on social media and of community concerns regarding this. As soon as they became aware the man in the footage was contacted to see if he wished to make a formal complaint.

"To date no formal complaint has been received in connection with this incident but this is being followed up. However, the footage has been passed to the Directorate of Professional Standards to review.

"A review is necessary as the footage captures only a snap shot of officers restraining a man who is non compliant in a difficult policing situation."

The original poster also posted a follow-up video on what happened afterwards.

John Biggs, the mayor of Tower Hamlets, has condemned the incident and asked for an urgent meeting with the police.

He said: ""I am very alarmed by this video and the description of what happened and I have demanded an urgent meeting and explanation from the Borough Commander.

"We clearly need an investigation of this incident and why the officer appears to have acted so aggressively. I know many in our community will understandably be angry at what they have seen but I would urge a calm response.

"If the actions in this video are what they appear, then we need to see action from the police and a full apology given.

"Our community needs to have faith and confidence in the police who serve us. Incidents like this threaten to destroy that trust and undo years of work to build closer relations between the police and our community."

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