A number of police officers have been removed from “usual duties” after a video showing scuffles following a vehicle search went viral.
West Midlands Police said it was “treating this matter seriously” and the officers on film would “not be deployed on usual duties” while an internal investigation took place.
The video posted on Sunday by police monitoring campaign group Netpol showed an officer using a baton as he helped to detain a man in Upper Sutton Street, Aston, Birmingham.
— West Midlands Police (@WMPolice) July 31, 2017
Desmond Jaddoo, a community campaigner, claimed the footage showed an unwarranted use of force.
In a tweet, he said: “This is not the way to conduct stop & search or treat the public. Excessive disproportionate unjustified use force against the BME (black minority ethnic) community.”
In a statement, West Midlands Police said: “We are aware of a video circulating on social media relating to arrests made by officers in Birmingham yesterday.
“We are quickly gathering as much information as possible and we will undertake an assessment of that information to understand exactly what has happened.
“As always, we are treating this matter seriously and will provide further updates when we can.”
A police spokesman said a 20-year-old man arrested for a public order offence had been released under investigation. A 28-year-old male was cautioned for possession of cannabis.
Netpol coordinator Kevin Blowe said comments on social media about the context of the arrest were irrelevant.
“What matters is whether the use of force by the police was reasonable and proportionate,” he said. “It is difficult not to draw the conclusion that the police officers in the video lost control.
“Had this not been captured on film, it is unlikely West Midlands Police would now have to account for their officers’ conduct. It’s a reminder why filming stop and search incidents is so important.”