Teenager accuses police of ‘brutality’ after clash in Stepney

Police and teenager clash in Stepney
Scuffle: the incident happened outside a youth centre in Stepney. Image: @ItsZRahman

A youth arrested in Tower Hamlets has accused police of a “vicious assault” after an officer appeared to hold him in a headlock.

A video has emerged that shows a scuffle taking place outside Arbour Youth Centre in Stepney on Saturday evening.

In the footage, the teenager can be seen shouting “Why are you lying?” as police attempt to arrest him. One officer then accuses the man of spitting before appearing to force him into a headlock.

The youth in question later commented on Instagram: “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.”

Responding to the footage, which has been widely circulated on social media, Tower Hamlets’ mayor John Biggs 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 understand many in our community will be understandably 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.”

A Metropolitan Police statement about the incident 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 five 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.”

  1. Muhammad Haque on Thursday 13 October 2016 at 10:04 am

    1003 Hrs GMT London UK Thursday 13 October 2016

    I quote your headline:

    “Teenager accuses police of ‘brutality’ after clash in Stepney”
    And your sub-headline
    “Mayor of Tower Hamlets demands ‘urgent meeting’ with senior officers after footage of the incident in Stepney was posted online”

    I comment to say that you are (a) insulting the Community by giving
    the main contents to a serial plastic utterance you attribute to Biggs
    and then you are (b) failing to tell readers what the context of Policing in Tower Hamlets is.

    I am referring to the WIDELY publicised Claim that the POLICE in Tower Hamlets are self-restrained, to such an extent that they have allowed OTHERWISE KNOWN AND SUSPECTED OFFENDERS
    to remain un-arrested, un-prosecuted on the touted ground that they – the Police – were afraid of being accused of racism.

    I am referring to that view being REINFORCED in the published ruling by Richard Mawrey QC.

    I am referring also to the most recent incident – before the one your report is about – that was publicised via social media where it was shown that a group of (Bangladeshi/Asian) young men had been engaged in “physical” contacts with the Police. Almost all the “comments” carried in the “mainstream” “outlets” claimed (words to the effect) that the Police are “having to be careful when dealing with Asians/Bangladeshis in Tower Hamlets” because of “Political correctness”!

    I am referring to Tower Hamlets Conservative Cllr Peter Golds asserting more than once that the Police are self-restrained in Tower Hamlets because of “fear” (my word) that they might be accused of racism.

    I am referring to Eric Pickles’ over-hyped “report” that repeated the same line with extensive vigour in his words.

    I am referring to at least five separate statements including more than one made by former Prime Minister David Cameron whilst he was still in that office who said similar things about the Police being allegedly afraid on the ground that if they did their job against (Asian/Muslim/Bangladeshi) criminals then the Police would be
    accused of being racist!

    Why haven’t you referred to those CLAIMS as published about
    the Police and the (mainly) Bangladeshi part of the population in Tower Hamlets?

    Why haven’t you also mentioned the PERMANENT SILENCE by John Biggs on that CLAIM as it was being made?

    Why didn’t you refer to any independent group or Campaign involved in studying, assessing the ‘race’ factor in the actual decisions made in Britain by the Police?

    Finally, why didn’t you mention the BLANK about Racism, Policing in Tower Hamlets that exists in the AGENDA of the Tower Hamlets “Council”?

    Given that most of the CLAIMS made and published about the Police being “afraid” of repercussions have been based on the “events” linked with Tower Hamlets Council – from vote fraud to other widely insinuated offences done from under the covers of the same Tower Hamlets Borough Council?

  2. Muhammad Haque on Thursday 13 October 2016 at 10:34 am

    ACTION HISTORY CONTEXT of Police in Tower Hamlets:

    In 1981, an action was taken by some members of the local Community in Tower Hamlets that resulted in the setting up of “Community Alliance for Police Accountability”.

    I was not one of the inner core but I was actively concerned about the Truth being buried under that initiative, not because there was no role for such an initiative but because the initiative was almost
    immediately sabotaged by elements that posed as being for Accountability by the Police but were in fact more concerned to undermine that Accountability.

    It was the abbreviation of that outfit that instantly concerned me: CAPA!

    CAPA was, in effect, very similar in sound as copper or cop!

    And so it was that CAPA evaporated without any trace.

    In 1981, the impulse was linked with the wider England-Wide ‘riots’ that were taking place in various parts focussed on the Police in “inner cities”.

    Biggs was NOT part of any action for accountable Policing in Tower Hamlets in 1981!

    Biggs has NOT been part of anything like that in the period since he became “leader” of Tower Hamlets Council in the 1990s.

    Biggs NEVER risked his career by supporting any Community Demand for Accountability by any of the State agencies.

    The “East End Citizen” has got to get to know the Community in the East End before assuming that placing Biggs’ face as the “main event” is doing “Citizens” any favours at all

    1034 GMT London UK Thursday 13 October 2016

  3. Muhammad Haque on Sunday 16 October 2016 at 3:24 pm

    The Campaign against Racism and Hate Crime held a Meeting in the Brick Lane London E1 Area yesterday (Saturday 15 October 2016).

    I spoke at the Meeting and gave a summary of “Police Community” “links” that had begun just over 40 years ago, under the total control of the Metropolitan Police, and sited at the then Leman Street London E1 Police Station.

    The first year or so was controlled by Chief Supt John Wallis before he was replaced.

    I told the Meeting held yesterday at the Micro Business Centre, Greatorex Street London E1
    that my contributions at the Leman Street London E1 Meetings – in the [period 1976 to 1978 – were routinely “countered” by the Police Chair of the Meetings using a then elderly Bangladeshi man who neither knew Constitutional Law nor was known for his linguistic skills in an international context.

    The man was not known in any way as even familiar with the basic laws.

    The CONTEXT of the 2016 events in Tower Hamlets demands that Sadiq Khan as the post holder to whom the Met Police are said to be answerable, conducts a detailed CONSULTATION on Democratising Policing in Tower Hamlets and in the rest of London.

    The Community is being asked to support a rally against racism, to be held at the Altab Ali Park
    in a fortnight’s time.

    1522 Hrs London UK Sunday 16 October 2016

  4. Barbara Brooks on Sunday 10 December 2017 at 9:46 am

    You were never any part of CAPA whatsoever, and as usual, are completely off the wall. You have no idea what you are talking about there. Still the same old M Haque !


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