Breaking News

Policeman beats unarmed man in Newport

Newport

Video footage has emerged via Birmzisgrime of a police officer attacking a unarmed black male who appears to not be resisting arrest.

Locals have accused the officer of brutality in Newport and the incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct after the shocking viral video involving a white officer and a black man emerged.

Video footage, shared on social media by Black Lives Matter Cardiff and Vale, shows an individual being struck and restrained by a police officer.

According to the post, the incident occurred in Newport.

This evening (July 13), Gwent Police has given a statement to the Argus, confirming that the incident took place an address in Livale Court, Newport, last Friday (July 9).

Officers were understood to have been called to reports of a man driving while disqualified.

This afternoon, a spokesman for the IOPC told the Argus that they had yet to receive this referral.

Following the incident last Friday, which took place at around 5.05pm, a 41-year-old man from Newport was arrested on suspicion of driving while disqualified and driving without insurance.

Driving offences

He was later charged and appeared before Newport Magistrates Court today.

The man was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker and obstructing an officer in execution of their duty.

He has since been released pending further investigation in relation to these charges.

The original post alleged that the man suffered a broken hand, along with bruising and swelling as a result of the incident.

It was also claimed that he was sprayed with CS Gas during the incident

We’re aware of a video circulating on social media involving one of our officers, and Gwent Police takes all reports of this nature very seriously.

“We understand the concern shared by the community and are in the process of reviewing our contact with this individual as a whole.

“In the meantime we’re referring this to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in line with normal procedure to ensure there is independent scrutiny and review.”

This comes several months after the death of a black male in police custody in Wales and protests.

South Wales police referred the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan after he was arrested following a disturbance in the city to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which has launched an investigation.

Police said they were called by the Welsh ambulance service to a “multi-occupancy” property in Roath, shortly after 10.30pm on 9 January.

Hassan, who was of Somali heritage, was arrested at his Cardiff home on Friday on suspicion of breach of the peace but released without charge on Saturday morning.

Officers said he left custody at around 8.30am. Hours later on Saturday evening he had died with his family saying he had claimed he was assaulted in custody before his death.

South Wales police said it had so far found no evidence of excessive force or misconduct. It said its self-referral to the complaints watchdog was standard practice following a death after police contact.

The IOPC director for Wales, Catrin Evans, said it would look carefully at the level of force used during the arrest and whether proper assessments were made on Hassan before he was released, but added that preliminary indications were that there was no physical trauma injury to explain the cause of death and toxicology tests would be needed.

Speaking in the Welsh parliament, Mark Drakeford, offered his condolences to Hassan’s family. “Our thoughts must be with the family of a young man who was a fit and healthy individual whose death must be properly investigated,” he said.

The Welsh first minister said the first step was to allow the IOPC to look into the case. “I expect that to be done vigorously and with full and visible independence,” he said.

The Plaid Cymru leader, Adam Price, told the parliament: “Witnesses were reportedly shocked by Mr Hassan’s condition on his release, saying his tracksuit was covered in blood and he had severe injuries and bruising.

“There can be no doubt this is a deeply harrowing case and every effort should be made to seek the truth of what happened. Why was Mohamud Hassan arrested, what happened during his arrest, did he have legal representation, was there any after care; why did this young man die?”

Price asked the first minister to do “everything in your power to help the family find those answers”.

The Plaid leader reminded the parliament of previous controversial investigations involving South Wales police including the murder of Lynette White, which led to the miscarriage of justice, and the death of schoolboy Christopher Kapessa, following which his mother, Alina Joseph, accused the police of institutional racism.

Price asked Drakeford: “Do you understand why so many people of colour sympathise with that statement? The Plaid leader also pointed out that only 2.6% of South Wales police officers were from black and ethnic minority backgrounds when they made up 6.7% of the population. He also said black people in Wales were more likely to end up in prison than their US counterparts.

Drakeford replied: “Black lives matter in every aspect of public services and public life here in Wales. That obligation lies with our police services as much as every part of life.”

Hassan’s aunt, Zainab Hassan, said she saw her nephew within an hour of his release. “He had lots of wounds on his body and lots of bruises,” she said. “He didn’t have these wounds when he was arrested and when he came out of Cardiff Bay police station, he had them.

“Nothing we do is going to bring him back, but we will not rest for a second until we have justice.”

On Tuesday afternoon, about 200 people gathered outside Cardiff Bay police station and flares were let off to protest over Hassan’s death.

Demonstrators chanted “no justice, no peace” and demanded the force release CCTV of Hassan’s time in custody, while some held signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “stop police brutality”.

One protester, Bianca Ali, 29, said: “We want justice, we want transparency, we want answers, we want the truth.”

Hilary Brown, a solicitor and director of Virgo Consultancy, said a complaint had been made to the IOPC, while the family would be seeking an independent pathologist report and called for an independent police force to investigate the issue.

Evans said the IOPC “will look carefully at the level of force used during the interaction”, adding: “We will be urgently examining the extensive relevant CCTV footage and body-worn video. Accounts will be gained from the officers involved, and we will be seeking to speak to a number of witnesses to the police attendance on Friday evening and to Mr Hassan’s movements on Saturday after leaving custody.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *