UK wide sharp rise in police use of force and allegations of brutality during first national lockdown

My first report on National TV this century! Three quarters of forces showed increases in UofF of up to two thirds. Home Office figures demonstrate black people are six times more likely to be subjected to UofF than white people. As development producer and on-air reporter, I obtained data from police forces in England, Wales and Northern Ireland – 37 out of 44 forces . Much of this was not publicly available. Shocking mobile phone footage, filmed by witnesses, that had never been broadcast on TV, or shown in full on any media, provided an alarming episode of police UofF. Three weeks before the death of George Floyd, a young female student was tackled to the ground by multiple Metropolitan police officers. A male officer had his knee on her neck suffocating her while she shouted, “I can’t breathe.” Losing consciousness, she told a female officer that the male officer was “killing her.” While restrained on the ground she was repeatedly punched and kicked by four officers. At the local police station, male officers participated in her being strip searched. Again, she was held down by multiple officers till she couldn’t breathe, and punched repeatedly.

Although this was the only case study featured, my investigation revealed this was not an isolated incident. I spoke to a number of black children and adults who had been stopped by the police in lockdown and assaulted or subjected to excessive force. Watch my headline report on Newsnight on BBC2.

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