Cleveland Police respond to accusations of brutality as arrest footage goes viral (From The Northern Echo)
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Cleveland Police respond to accusations of brutality as arrest footage goes viral
CLEVELAND Police have responded to accusations of police brutality after CCTV footage of a man being arrested went viral today (Tuesday, December 10).
The force faced a hail of online criticism in the wake of the video being posted on YouTube.
The video, taken on Thursday, August 1, shows the aftermath of an incident in which the arrested man had head-butted police officers responding to reports of a man being drunk and disorderly on Stockton High Street.
CCTV cameras captured the man being forcibly restrained before being put into a police van.
The footage clearly shows one police officer knee the man – who was on the floor at the time – several times in the back before another punches him repeatedly.
A woman at the scene is also restrained by police officers.
Many comments posted in response to the video – entitled ‘Cleveland Police Brutality: putting people first’ - attacked the officers for their response.
Jon Kamara said: “Bobbies punching, kicking and kneeing you is out of order.
“Their uniform does not give them the right to do what they want and break the laws they are meant to uphold.
“They are nowt but bullies.”
However, a statement from Cleveland Police said officers used trained and recognised techniques and did not resort to using tasers or batons.
It said the man had been attempting to bite the officers and was digging his nails into their arms while they were attempting to handcuff him, adding that it was important not to take the footage out of context.
The footage has been viewed by the force’s Professional Standards Department, who were satisfied that the officers acted in accordance with legislation and their training.
A spokeswoman from Cleveland Police said: “A Cleveland Police spokesperson said: “Officers deal with extremely violent individuals on a daily basis who could be under the influence of drink or drugs, which also has a part to play in increasing the offender’s mindset and strength.
“There is a danger that this footage could be taken out of context on first viewing, but it is important to view it with full knowledge of the facts.”
The man later pleaded guilty at court to two counts of assaulting a constable in the execution of his or her duty and possession of cannabis.
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