Video footage has emerged of an arrest in Brixton, which has sparked allegations of heavy-handed treatment by police officers.
The video shows two police officers restraining a man, named locally as 51-year old Freydoon Baluch, on the pavement outside the Ritzy cinema, the Brixton Blog reported.
The incident is said to have happened on Sunday afternoon. Members of the public and eyewitnesses were outraged when it appeared a police officers boot was in the suspects face. Whilst unconscious on the floor, crowds accuse the police of being heavy-handed, asking for them to call an ambulance.
Tonight, after a public memorial to Sean Rigg, who died in police custody in 2008, protestors have said they will march from Lambeth Town Hall to Brixton Police Station to make a formal complaint about the incident. The march will leave Lambeth Towm Hall around 9pm after the Sean Rigg Memorial, which marks the fourth anniversary of the death of mental health service user, Sean Rigg, who lost his life in police custody in 2008 in Brixton. An inquest found police used an "unsuitable" level of force before his death. The Independent Police Complaints Commission published its report, noting the failure to identify Mr Rigg's schizophrenia.
Concerning the recent incident in Brixton, a spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said “Police were called to Windrush Square at approximately 5.10pm on Sunday to reports of a disturbance.
“Officers arrested a man in his 50s at 5.25pm. After concerns about his health officers called the London Ambulance Service. An ambulance arrived at approximately 5.30pm and he was taken to a south London hospital."
He added: “He was later discharged and taken into custody at a south London police station where he remains.”
Deputy commander for Lambeth Martin Huxley met with with angry residents at Brixton Police Station on Sunday to address their concerns. The spokesman said “As a result of the meeting police have recorded this as a complaint against police, and the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards is now investigating.”
Marcia Rigg, Sean Rigg's sister, commented on the Brixton Blog saying “This is appalling and demonstrates the need for officers to be made accountable for restraint related deaths as lessons are obviously not being learned. “This is exactly how Sean died when he became unconscious after being restrained faced down in the prone position for approximately ‘eight minutes.’”
Mona Dohle of Brixton Police Monitor told Blottr that they "are still desperately looking for more footage" and that time between the man losing consciousness and the ambulance arriving was at least 20 minutes rather than 5 (as the police claimed in this video).