Croydon Police are dealing with a complaint after a violent incident on Wellesley Road on Friday in which a young black man was chased and restrained by at least eight officers after a brief chase.
The Police say that no one was hurt and no one was arrested, but some who saw the incident drew obvious comparisons with how George Floyd was restrained and killed by a single police officer in Minneapolis last month, his death prompting global Black Lives Matter protests.
Witnesses say that they saw the man hit and kicked by officers. A 50second video of the part of the inciddent was widely circulated on social media together with the hashtag #BLM.
“The guy looked terrified and the way the police kick and hit him, I’m not surprised,” one eyewitness tweeted, asking the Police for an explanation.
Today, Superintendent Andy Brittain, the Borough Commander, issued this statement to Inside Croydon, “On Friday, June 26 at 14.14hrs, officers in a marked vehicle on proactive patrol on Wellesley Road, Croydon, observed a man run away on seeing police.
“He was instructed to stop but continued to run. Officers observed what appeared to be a sharp object in his hand.
“Officers followed the man and attempted to detain him for the purposes of a search. During this, the man resisted and became aggressive.
“A number of officers restrained the man and he was placed in handcuffs as they believed he had a weapon on him.
“No weapon was found but an umbrella spoke was found nearby which the man admitted to discarding while running from police.
“The man was not arrested and no injuries were reported at the time.
“A public complaint has been recorded and this will be assessed by the Met’s Department of Professional Standards.
“The Met is aware of the video and the actions of each officer seen in the footage will form part of this assessment.”
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