Police have launched an internal probe after a video has emerged that appears to show an officer grabbing a student by his throat.
It’s claimed the teenager was detained by officers simply for ‘shaking his head’ at the end of a protest, reports Manchester Evening News.
Greater Manchester Police say the 18-year-old was arrested for alleged ‘breach of the peace’ and he was later de-arrested.
Inspectors at the Professional Standards Branch will now investigate following a complaint.
Hundreds of people gathered in St Peter’s Square in Manchester city centre last night (March 20) to demonstrate on a number of causes including opposition to the government’s proposed new crime legislation.
After the crowd dispersed, there was an incident nearby involving an 18-year-old man and a group of Tactical Aid Unit officers.
A video shared on social media shows an officer pinning the teenager up against a van, at one point appearing to have his hand on the man’s throat.
Other officers told people to stay back as his friends complained.
A witness told the MEN: “I think my mate just casually shook his head at the police van as we went passed and this officer jumped out and pinned him against the van.
“He was saying ‘are you shaking your head at me you little s***’?
“I got my phone out and they weren’t letting me film it, two officers shoved me to the floor.
“He wasn’t arrested, they just put him in the van and dropped him at the McDonald’s in Peel Park.
“He asked for their badge numbers and they said ‘do you want to spend the weekend in the cells?'”
GMP said in a statement: “Following protests in Manchester City Centre yesterday (Saturday 20 March 2021) an 18-year-old man was detained for breach of the peace. He was later de-arrested.
“Following a public complaint in regards to this arrest, the incident has been referred to GMP’s Professional Standards Branch for assessment.”
Police took no enforcement action against the protest in the city centre which involved thousands of people.
Explaining GMP’s handling of the protest, Assistant Chief Constable, Nick Bailey, said: “We were aware of several protests which took place yesterday across the City Centre and our position in regard to all protests during this lockdown remains that they do not meet what is an acceptable reason to gather during the lockdown.
“Public safety is a top priority for GMP, and in the lead up to these protests, police actively engaged with the organisers to explain government guidance and discuss alternate options in order to dissuade a public gathering from taking place.
“However when large groups chose to ignore that, we will always look to see whether it is safe to take action which would physically prevent the protest and disperse the crowd.”
“A careful assessment was made about the policing approach and it was decided that a low key approach, which was sensitively policed, would be the most appropriate form of action.
“Proportionate action was taken on the day, and officers engaged with those present to encourage social distancing and dispersal of attendees.
“GMP will continue to make assessments of all gatherings that are felt to be unlawful and make a decision as to how best to protect the wider public from the spread of infection, our staff policing the event and
those engaged in the protest.
“Whilst no enforcement action was taken yesterday GMP has gathered evidence in relation to all the protests and will be concentrating our investigations against those who have organised these events and will where appropriate take enforcement action.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind the public that we are still in the midst of a pandemic and it is vitally important that we all continue to play our part in helping to keep our community safe and protected.
“With the vaccination scheme in place, there is finally a light at the end of the tunnel, but we must do everything we can to reduce the number of virus transmissions.
“Therefore, I would continue to appeal to the public to follow government advice and adhere to the legislation, which has been put in place to save lives. Help us to help you stay safe.”