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West Midlands Police probe as Birmingham baton video goes viral

By Harry Leather | Birmingham | Crime | Published:

Officers featured in the video have been taken off usual duties after concerns over their use of force.

A plain-clothed officer, left, hits a man with his baton in Birmingham

Three West Midlands Police officers have been taken off their usual duties after concerns were raised over their use of force in a video widely shared on social media.

The neighbourhood police officers, who are all constables, have been restricted to desk duties after clips showing an officer using his baton during an arrest in Birmingham were posted on Facebook and Twitter last night.

In the footage, an altercation breaks out between a man and plain-clothed policemen who had stopped a group of men on the street in Birmingham.

The video, filmed outside the Mosque and Muslim Community Centre Aston, shows casually-dressed officers becoming embroiled in a scuffle with one of the men in the group.

The violence happened while police were making arrests on Upper Sutton Street

Surrounded by onlookers, the man can be seen arguing with an officer when the pair start grappling across the middle of the road. As two officers attempt to wrestle the man to the floor, a third policeman - wearing jeans and a hoody - draws his baton and strikes the man at least four times.

Eventually the suspect is subdued and cuffed as he lies on the pavement.

The scene, which has been widely circulated on Facebook and Twitter, was filmed by several members of the public who can be heard shouting and questioning the officers' use of force.

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Abdul Hamid Faruki shared one video with West Midlands Police on Twitter, asking the force "is this appropriate policing?"

All of the officers featured have been taken off normal duties

Meanwhile a different video posted by The Network for Police Monitoring has been retweeted more than 700 times, while another Facebook clip has been watched more than 5,000 times.

And now three of the officers featured in the footage have been stood down from normal duties while the Independent Police Complaints Commission investigates the incident, which happened on Upper Sutton Street on Sunday.

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A statement released by West Midlands Police on Monday afternoon said: "West Midlands Police has conducted an initial investigation into footage circulated on social media featuring officers carrying out an arrest in Aston yesterday.

"Following the investigation, a decision has been made to refer the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

"Three local neighbourhood officers – all of constable rank - will be redeployed to other work but will not be engaged in duties outside a police station."

West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, David Jamieson, said he was looking at the incident ' very closely'.

"Conduct matters of individual officers are the responsibility of the Chief Constable and I am assured that he is taking it very seriously," Mr Jamieson added.

"West Midlands Police have made great strides in increasing public confidence in stop and search powers by ensuring that they are intelligence-led.

"I am committed to ensuring that the public continues to have confidence in the way that their communities are policed. With West Midlands Police public panels have been introduced to examine searches - this has helped reduce disproportionality and increase the positive outcomes that result from searches.

"Stop and search is a necessary, but intrusive policing power. It is very important that it is used fairly."

Harry Leather

By Harry Leather
Digital Editor - @hleather_star

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