Outraged community protests as man was ‘punched five times’ in handcuffs

Protesters gathered outside Stretford Police Station in response to a video of a man being arrested by two police officers where he was ‘punched five times’ and ‘pepper sprayed’

A small crowd gathered outside Stretford Police Station on Monday 6th November in response to a controversial video of police officers arresting a man. 

This was to protest GMP and this location was chosen because the officers in the video came from this station. 

The protest was organised by the Manchester branch of Stand Up to Racism, after its member Lamin Touray posted the video of the incident on X with a follow-up tweet calling for a protest the next day. There were also members of the Socialist Workers’ Party (SWP) present, as well as members of the local community who were not affiliated to any group. 

Via X- @lamintouray96

Karen Reissman, of Stand Up to Racism said that she attended the protest because she saw a video of a man who “was lying completely still on the pavement and one of the police officers of the two that were sitting on top of him decided to punch him in the head five times and then pepper spray him”. She added that she believed that the police do have a right to protect themselves but in the context of the video he appeared to be lying still on the pavement.

Distraction tactics

At the event, Lamin said “I believe the officer responsible must be suspended, as it sends a clear message to anyone in our community in south Manchester, that the police cannot assault anyone regardless of the context without consequences”. 

Not only did he receive “five blows to the back of his head but if that wasn’t enough force, they pepper sprayed him”.

According to Lamin this protest was not just against the officers in the video, but it was against the response by the GMP who have “come out and said that this was appropriate force and that the blows were distraction strikes to help detain him”. 

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) have previously defined distraction strikes as “intended to stop a person resisting to allow for a safe arrest”.  

GMP’s response

Detective Chief Inspector Dave Jones of GMP’s Professional Standards Directorate insists that other tactics were used before the officers resorted to using distraction tactics. He stated that “we understand that the video, viewed in isolation, is a cause for concern” but he added that footage from the bodycams worn by the officers “adds eight minutes worth of context to the short clip on social media”.

Greater Manchester Police have denied any wrongdoing. DCI Jones assured that “the force and our communities all expect police officers’ behaviour to be of a high professional standard and for any use of force to be necessary, proportionate and reasonable”.