Four arrested after attack on police officers in Hackney

Police have arrested four people, including a 13-year-old boy, after an officer was thrown to the ground in a widely shared video.

As the incident unfolds a group of men – including one appearing to brandish a baseball bat – crowded around the officer, shouting and swearing at him before he is punched and kicked.

Two officers, a male and female police constable, were injured in the incident at around 3.30pm yesterday in the Frampton Park Road area. They suffered minor injuries but did not require hospital treatment. The Home Secretary Priti Patel has branded the incident ‘sickening, shocking & disgraceful’, suggesting officers had been subject to a ‘disgusting violent attack’.

Detectives say they are ‘confident that there are no suspects outstanding’.

The Metropolitan Police said this evening that two men, aged 32 and 20, were arrested at the scene, before a boy, 13, and a man, 34, were arrested last night and today respectively.

The force explained that the officers were ‘flagged down by a member of the public’ claiming to have been assaulted, and then directed to the alleged suspect.

In a statement, the force said: ‘As an officer attempted to speak with those involved, one of the men resisted and a struggle ensued. A number of other people became involved whilst the officer was on the ground.’

When more officers attended the scene, the 32-year-old and 20-year-old were arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker. The 32-year-old was also arrested in relation to the original assault. Both were taken to an east London police station, the force added.

The 34-year-old man was also arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.

Central East BCU Commander Marcus Barnet said: ‘Thousands of people, including myself and the officer’s colleagues, have seen the video of this incident circulating on social media and have been horrified by what happened. My officers were in the process of making an arrest when they were attacked.

‘They have suffered cuts and bruises and thank goodness they were not seriously injured. They have been back out at work today, which is testament to their dedication. We have ensured the welfare of the officers and they continue to be supported by their colleagues.’

Mr Barnet continued: ‘Police officers do not come to work to be attacked. I have been an officer for 27 years and incidents such as this still shock me. It is never OK.

‘We are engaging with our community partners to discuss what happened and I hope that anyone who witnessed what happened comes forward and speaks with us.’

The incident has caused widespread revulsion, amid a global backlash against police brutality following the death of George Floyd in the USA.

John Apter, chairman of the Police Federation, branded the scene ‘horrific’ and ‘stomach churning’.

He added: ‘Disgusting behaviour from those who attack the officers, those who film what’s going on and those who do nothing.

‘They are cowards, the lot of them.’