A Different View Of Reality?

There is something about the reporting of this story that makes me think that it is only the police, door staff and ambulance crews who understand exactly what goes on when drunks get violent.

In my view it didn't look much like an epileptic fit to me. It does look very much like a violent drunk struggling for position – I've been restraining people doing exactly the same thing.

But of course, she's a woman and 'non-white', so the usual suspects start making comments that it is a racist attack, and one person compares it to the beating of Rodney King. I'm guessing these people have never seen women 'kicking off' in the centre of town after too much to drink. Just another way some people's perception of reality differs greatly from mine.

Feel free to discuss while I sleep between shifts (as opposed to sleeping on shift, which is tricky and rarely successful).

66 thoughts on “A Different View Of Reality?”

  1. I don't know, I suppose it makes a bit of a difference that they were chasing her and rolling down the stairs with her and struggling with her because she *had* committed a criminal offence, rather than because they just felt like beating someone up, or because they simply hoped she was the one they were after.I haven't seen the footage and I'm no kind of professional, so I can't say whether she was beaten or not, whether the force used was reasonable or not, but if she WAS beaten, if the officer was losing his rag, that's not on, criminal offence or otherwise.

    I'm kind of bothered by the attempt to use a medical condition as a “get out of jail free” card after getting pissed and into a fight with various people including police officers.

  2. Well, don't want to be argumentative but there were several of them holding her down by that point, and one copper thumping her (by his own admission) as hard as he could. This isn't exactly one copper getting no protection is it?To draw from the general (she's a criminal, all coppers have a hard and challenging job) to the specific (therefore they can get away with whatever they like) is a stretch too far, and one more damaging to society in the long run than any number of hooligans damaging cars (I don't see any report that she “trashed” it – again, this is emotive function-creep by one aspect of this story).

    With bailiffs being empowered under new laws to break into debtors homes (or, I would imagine in rented properties, what they think was the last address a debtor lived at – could be you, could be your kid's first studio flat) this is NOT the time to lower the standards for applying reasonable force to members of the public, no matter how stupid and irresponsible they may be.

    Rant over! :o)

  3. Some drunks like the thrill of the fight, boasting to friends and family how many officers it took to restrain them!The majority of people have no idea what goes on after dark in town centres up and down the country – no idea at all. And for those of us that do, and have seen this CCTV footage know how many times it could have been them who have been filmed doing their job.

    My best wishes go to the Police Officer in question who, in my opinion (to which I'm entitled) was doing his job on our behalf.

  4. Afraid I've got to disagree with you today. In the policeman's own words he “struck her as hard as I was physically able with my right fist”. That's not acceptable; morally or legally.I've successfully subdued drunks who've kicked off, even people people waving bottles and knives or who were throwing stones through plate glass windows at me (there's something sureal about watching broken glass fly past your nose in slow motion). I've *never* had to hit anybody as “hard as I was physically able”.

    The law requires people who have a legitimate cause to use force to use reasonable force, and no more than *absolutely* necessary. Hitting someone as “hard as physically possible” does not seem to me to be within those bounds when it's one drunk woman vs. a group of coppers.

    This isn't the first time South Yorks have been caught at it by cctv. Last year they CS'ed a black guy, handcuffed and pinned him down and then one of the officers stood up and decided to give him a few kicks for good measure while he was held down by two other officers.

    These are the sort of people who give the police a bad name.

  5. As a rank amateur, reading the report, it sounds bad for the officers. After reading your take on it, I realized I have nothing to compare it to. In ordinary life, it's almost always the people doing the hitting who are the problem, especially when it's a bunch of guys ganging up on a woman–which is how this looks to the amateur eye.I have no idea how difficult arrests normally proceed. I have no idea whether knocking someone out could be necessary. Now that you mention it, it's not actually that hard to imagine a situation in which it is necessary. It's one of those situations where you can believe your eyes . . . once you figure out what they're telling you.

    Thanks for giving us a bit of the knowledge necessary to do that. Eye-opening.

  6. but apparently 'reasonable force' wasn't working was it? She continued to try and grab his genitals, so what's reasonable force? Good enough to 'try' and persuade her to stop, or 'actually' get her to stop?I've worked as a bouncer and drunk women still unnerve me in fights – it's something I would be far happier letting the blokes handle personally.

    WHy does it always have to come down to race?

  7. From the CCTV footage on the BBC news site it appears he did not find it necessary to hit her as hard as he could in the face five times until his mates were helping to hold her down.

  8. If this officer struck her in the face, she'd be showing photos of her facial injuries. since i've seen no evidence for these I assume that the explanation of hitting her on the arm to try to get her handcuffed, sounds reasonable.I'm more disgusted by a local “race relations manager” who said that “its disgraceful that…” she was “beaten to the ground… stripped from the waist down… and having dogs barking at her.. in the year that we're calling the abolition of slavery”

    This has nothing to do with race, wake up, smell the reality of the police's job.

  9. I agree, it doesn't look like she's having an epileptic fit. And it also looks like she whopped the cop one as they fell down the stairs.On the other hand, I have to agree with mc1variant that from the footage it's hard to see why he felt the need to hit her so hard and so repeatedly in swift succession. It does not look like a case of a single blow and then wait to see how she responds. Sadly, the policeman's own words do him no favours. His words and the images combined seem to indicate that he intended to hurt her rather than simply control her behaviour. Whether because of a supposed racist motive or because he wanted to get his own back for being hurt as they fell down the stairs or simply out of frustration at her behaviour and that of others like her, I couldn't say.

  10. I have seen numerous fights, almost weekly over 3 years in my previous job, none of which resulted in either police or door staff having to repeatedly punch their attackers. The usual technique is to evade the drunk's blows and kicks until enough people are available to take a limb or two each.Having watched this video a few times, it does look to me like he's hitting her in retaliation, not self-defence – which is unnacceptable. It looks like he loses his temper and can't cope with what he's required to do, frankly – understandable, but not permissable.

    However, I don't think it's somehow LESS acceptable because she's female, because I've witnessed that it can take 5 large men to restrain one small woman who has, to use a technical term, “lost it.” Did the fact he was having trouble subduing a female make the officer more angry – who knows. If it did then he needs to really sort that out.

    I'm not black, so don't feel I can comment on the race issue at all, because it's very easy to say you see no racism when in fact you've never been in a position to suffer from it.

    Finally, I find the bottom 2 lines of the BBC's report, a quote from SY police, deeply worrying:

    “It is worth noting that as a result of the original incident the individual was convicted of a criminal offence.”

    That is the same family of thought that says it's okay to gun people down if you suspect they're terrorists, and that it's okay to torture anyone you suspect.

    A civilised society never justifies abuse by referencing the character of the victim – human rights are inalienable, for nice and nasty alike, because once we start down that route, in no time at all nobody is safe from abuse.

  11. If each of the four, fit, supposedly trained men had taken one of her limbs and held on to it, she would have been unable to do anything. It takes one bloke to immobilise a crocodile with the the right training but four men could not subdue a drunken woman? Instead they stood and watched. There should have been a fifth man to hold their handbags!

  12. Sorry Charis, but have you seen a woman kick off before?!They are impossible to control because a) they're drunk so they don't feel pain, b) they're drunk, so they don't care about pain and c) the adrenaline is pumping so they're a lot stronger than normal.

    Even properly trained, 4 on 1 is hard – because you'll be falling over each over so often.

    Regards

    Nick

    http://nickhough.blogspot.com

  13. Amen.I think it's disgraceful that rather than this being an issue of “policeman hitting woman”, they're trying to make it an issue of “policeman hitting black woman”.

    As I said on my blog, there have been a number of cases where this has happened, where the racial equality associations have tried to make an incident race related.

    Regards

    Nick

    http://nickhough.blogspot.com

  14. The police are trained to hit a persure point. In pratice this means pinning the person to the ground and if they won't release there hand to be cuffed, hitting them on this spot. More drunk someone is more blows required.Another point is police officers don't normally like to go rolling down stairs and therefore she was proberly fighting with the officer concerned.As most have said, you can't see where he is hitting so jugment reserved.As to how strong someone is when drunk, I have seen when I was a door man a small light bloke pick up a collegue of mine who is larger than me and throw him to the ground, while a police officer was hanging on to his arm. I am 6'5 and my collegue must of been 6'7 and large. I have also seen a women drag 2 police officers along the street as the tried to handcuff her. she was about 5' and light build. These where both down to drink.

  15. This girl was young and drunk a volitile combination. Its difficult to make a judgement on any situation without the facts. Coming from Sheffield you can almost feel an undercurrent of unrest amongst the youth, word of month reports asylum seekers in schools making even “the nice kids” carry knives but only the sensational gets reported to the media. The truth is harder to find.

  16. I'm sure that there are circumstances where the police, door staff (bouncers) or similar do use too much force. Whilst working in a solicitors I visited a young (white!) female who'd been arrested for something she certainly wouldn't do whilst sober. And, even though she couldn't remember it, it was accepted that she'd resisted arrest. That said, when we went in the afternoon are her wrists were still red from where the handcuffs had been put on – which suggests they were probably put on too tight (or at least not loosened after they were put on in the heat of the moment).But, it's like any occupation – there's always a very small minority who will go too far or abuse their power, and there's nothing that can be good to stop it.

    We can't comment greatly on this case because we don't know where the punches were delivered (although it's a good bet it was the arm), how the arrested was reacting, if the officers were managing to hold her down (I think at the time of the punches there were 3 officers? That's not enough to claim a limb each as previous commenters have mentions), and thus if in all the circumstances such use of force was reasonable. On the basis there's been no complaints before this time despite all the bouncers and other officers around, it almost certainly was.

    What is concerning, as previously said, is why this appears to have been made into a racial issue. Anyone who's watched any police “fly-on-the-wall” documentary will have seen the police needing to use a lot of force to restrain anyway – be they black, white, or polka-dot orange!

  17. Who really knows without being there?I don't think it looks good at all, even after reading all your comments about violent drunk women. But I've no doubt that the media are going to hype it up as much as they can, going on about her race, gender, and health.

  18. The point I would like to make, after watching a few times, is that he says he needed to punch her like that so subdue her, yet at least two of the other officers seem to be standing (one kneeling) watching it happen .. if she was really putting up such a violent struggle at that point, why were they all not holding her down or helping to restrain her?My totally personal opinion is, she hurt him and he reacted by hurting her back.

  19. I used to regularly help provide first aid cover in the students union at uni and, unfortunately, this is exactly how a lot of people (both men and women) acted when they'd had a little too much. It's a fairly multicultural university and we had people from all races acting just the same – the only difference was what language the swearing was in really.

  20. Be interesting if the copper gets off unscathed, rightly or wrongly, because I doubt the owner of the car she damaged would escape some form of criminal prosecution for that kind of behaviour, if they were restraining her while waiting for the police to arrive.The standards for “reasonable force” are stricter for the police than for the general public, and rightly so, yet I somehow doubt a civilian could get away with sitting on a vandal and walloping them as hard five times in a row.

  21. “I'm kind of bothered by the attempt to use a medical condition as a “get out of jail free” card after getting pissed and into a fight with various people including police officers.”If you read what the woman herself said, she says she has no recollection of the event and that she thinks she *may* have had a fit. She does have a verifiable history of epilepsy. That's not quite the same as proffering it as a “get out of jail free” card.

  22. “I thought that modern police cuffs were designed to automatically get tighter if the 'offender' kept struggling? “No they're not. Quite the opposite. Once you have cuffs on you take the key and lock them so that they cannot get tighter, otherwise you risk cutting off the blood supply to the hands with obvious consequences.

  23. Sorry, I had only read the BBC news article that Reynolds linked to and not researched it further. The way that article puts it, she was “writhing around on the ground, which she says was due to an epileptic fit. Police say she was trying to resist arrest.” under a subheader of “'epileptic' claim”. (My highlighting)Which does sound rather different to saying she has no memory of the event and presenting the possibility that, being epileptic, she may have had a fit.

  24. If she hadn't been vandalising the car in the first place none of this would ever have happened…………….IMO she's only got herself to blame and by kicking off she only made things worse for herself. The policeman may have used excessive force but as has been pointed out above “reasonable force was not working”, perhaps this is a good case to start the campaign for Police to be armed with non-lethal weapons (TASER etc.) as I'm sure this would have had her under control in a Jiffy.

  25. Yes, but the courts deal with people vandalising cars, not the police by administering beatings in the street. Some countries do that, like the Taliban used to beat women for showing a wrist, but it didn't seem to lead to a great society of respect and individual wellbeing….The issue isn't that she's an angel, it's whether or not that copper was out of line – we are policed by consent in this country so trusting the police to stick to reasonable force only is perfectly reasonable. Human rights apply to everyone, not just the people we choose to think of as “nice”.

  26. Why indeed! Did you happen to hear the woman's father? “I brought my kids up well, she's not been in trouble since she was 15 – just a bit of petty thieving. Yeah she did throw a bollard at a car but she was having an epileptic fit….”Funny, never seen an epileptic fit that makes you throw bollards at cars. She'd had “a drink”…

    As someone else pointed out epileptic-strobe lights-alcohol ?good combination?

    Officer didn't smell intoxicants, well neither can Tom but he can recognise the symptoms!!!!

  27. The fact is EVERY night of the week Police, Ambulance and A&E services are expected to pick up the pieces after innumerable episodes of alcohol fuelled violence, or anti-social behaviour.And some of us will have even witnessed fatalities, perhaps after a casual assault or drunk driving.

    Like everybody else here I do not know the full circumstances of this particular incident, but I do find the manufactured indignation slightly galling – what I can't go out and get pissed up trash a few cars, then feign an epileptic convulsion, dear oh dear what is the world coming to.

    I do not condone Police retaliation [if that is what happened] but sometimes these guys are required to have 'the patience of Job', it's hardly suprising that they will show poor judgement once in a while.

  28. Oh dear a young 'lady' gets drunk, behaves disgracefully, gets violent and gets arrested. That surely must be the basis for any civil action to be taken out against the hard working, hard pressed, used and abused police offer (s) of the South Yorkshire Police. Or am I being toooo cynical here. PS where are the cuts and bruised from such a violent attack she sustained……I failed to notice any?????

  29. Are British police officers not armed with tasers? Because this is basically the situation they are best for, isn't it? It feels horrible, but aside from a couple of fluke cases, it doesn't cause permanent harm, and it drops you like a brick. Also, and I am basing this only on common sense, which might be incorrect, but it seems like it would be some pretty effective conditioning: you get tasered once, your drunken mind is still going to remember it next time, and maybe you'll curb your aggression. Although I have heard that some drunk people take multiple tazerings to slow them down, so maybe it wouldn't have helped.Is there a reason British police don't have them? What's the logic?

  30. The “race brigade” are bloody idiots. If you play the race card on every minor incident, especially when it's almost certainly of zero relevance here, then at times when there are true racial injustices, nobody will bother paying attention. Maybe they should join an ambulance crew or police crew on a Friday night, and actually see what the real world is all about.

  31. Always two sides to every story but unfortunately we will never be privvy to the Police Officers side of what was really going on. It could be any one of us in that situation and as is usually the case, management would side with the PC brigade rather than risk the wrath of the public against them. Something like slaughter (suspend) one to appease the crowds maybe?

  32. i find it surprising that she hasn't released pictures of her “injuries” – being “beaten” as she alleges, would have produced some fantastic looking pictures of bruising.No doubt the media will turn the tables tomorrow when they find out some juicy gossip on her, which will miraculously appear in the public domain.

  33. I have no real knowledge of epilepsy other than the basic, but I can't imagine being tasered would help much whether you were having a fit at the time or not.Surely the application of a jolt of electricity to an epileptic could prove potentially dangerous? maybe especially to an intoxicated violent epileptic?

    Does anyone know?

  34. No, British police officers are unarmed. Tasers are carried, but only by firearms officers; and they are often used to great effect (go the BBC News website, and you'll find dozens of stories where they've been used successfully)>Is there a reason British police don't have them? What's the logic?

    Please, somebody correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it's the “escalation of violence” rule. If the police carry tasers, all criminals will carry pistols. If all police have pistols, all criminals will have semi's, etc…

    And in addition, I think there's an image issue. The police have done their best in the last few years to appear to their respective communities as friendly, approachable people. And carrying a sidearm on your hip kind of goes against that image! 😉

    Regards

    Nick

    http://nickhough.blogspot.com

  35. Have just googled 'taser & epilepsy' and the 1st web page I came across (which seems neither pro nor anti taser) states… “The manufacturer does not recommend that the TASER be used against persons with a history of epilepsy or heart problems”.Probably just as well the officer's didn't have tasers on them, in that case…

  36. he struck her several times, by his own admission and from the video you can see he was hitting her as hard as he could. there were several of them, I'm certain that there are better ways to restrain someone. Just because they go out and do a difficult job every weekend does not make them saints.And “But of course, she's a woman and 'non-white', so the usual suspects start making comments…..” – I'm lost for words. I expect that sort of comment from nut jobs on HYS…!

  37. I'm not sure how to feel about this story…I fully support the police using force to restrain her, especially after reading about all the times you've had to deal with very violent patients that are drunk. But from watching the footage it sure does look like she was struck after she was being held down.

    Still, I agree that it doesn't seem right to imply that just because she's a woman and not white that she's totally off the hook.

  38. oh look – its started alreadyhttp://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2007110340,00.html#cid=OTC-RSS&attr=TheSun:News

    turns out she diagnosed herself as an epileptic

  39. My boyfriend is a policeman and I do worry when he works evenings/nights, especially over the weekend. It seems there are people who think it's fine for them to down copious amounts of alcohol and damage people and property, but it's unreasonable to take responsibility for their actions.No one made her drink, no one made her trash a car.

    It is ludicrous that the people who are there to protect and serve get no protection.

  40. it happened last july – i think the bruises have probably gone down by now!she says she has no recollection of the incident and was only aware of what had happened when she saw the cctv footage

  41. So if a copper is chasing a suspect, and the copper has a taser, the manufacturers recommend that he should stop the suspect first and ask for a full medical history…?Perhaps the manufacturers feel that you should only use a taser on people you know well.

    I realise they've got to cover their backs, but it seems a bit silly.

  42. smoochie and kate – I suppose I asked for that! But I would never, ever, compare the British police force to the Taliban (to me that is the same kind of ridiculous statement as saying Myra Hindley was only a little bit naughty)What I didn't articulate properly in my last post was the fact that people don't seem to have any respect for anyone (or their property) any more. All you have to do is walk down any town high street at 22:00 on a Friday or Saturday night to see violent behavour (be it vandalism or towards another human being).

    I'm in my late 20's and would never dream of doing anything like this young lady did to anybody else's property and let alone a police officer (come to think of it I wouldn't dream of hitting another person – I do like to scream expletives at people who cut me up in the car though!) no matter how inebriated I was at the time.

    Perhaps it's time I removed my rose tinted glasses or got into a time machine back to the 50's……….

    Oh BTW kate – I never speed as I need my licence for work (circa 45K miles per year for the last 5 years and it is clean).

  43. Huh. I am an American, and therefore out of the loop on this kind of thing, but a) I thought British police officers DO carry guns now- I could have sworn I saw an article about it somewhere. So that's only specific firearms officers? Also, b) I don't think there's a realistic risk that anyone would carry a gun to avoid being tasered, or not more of a risk than that they would carry a gun to avoid being punched.Are private citizens allowed to carry tazers in the UK?? In America you can, but it varies from state to state, and I think there are limits on the type of taser (I don't carry anything for self defense unless you count the whistle on my keychain, which was a gift, so I don't know the details.)

  44. In the court of perfection Police Officers would should show restraint in every single case [no matter how severely provoked] and ambulance crews would refrain from gestures which clearly imply that the person brought to A&E is a complete waste of space, even if they are. And of course triage nurses would not dismiss painful injuries with a dismissive shrug, or unintelligable grunt.The accumulation of the frustrations of the job can sometimes be carried over, or unintentionally displaced onto an unrelated incident – behaviours that are very difficult to defend in retrospect can be a universal problem for ALL front line staff, to a greater or lesser extent.

  45. I agree that it's a bad thing that we have become a society where some people think it's “okay” to get violent with other people or other people's property.But the job of the police is not to administer justice or punishments. We have courts and juries and so on for a reason, and part of that reason is to keep us very definitely distinct from things like the Taliban regime.

  46. I've watched the cctv footage of this and I have to say that I agree with Tom. It does look like a violent drunk trying to get away.There are a couple of other things too. This lady claimed she has epilepsy but she was never diagnosed as the tests were inconclusive. It is possible to get a seizure due to having drunk too much alcohol for your body to handle.

    Listening to her father was incredible. He was saying that her throwing a bollard at the car was due to an epileptic fit. That's simply not possible during an epileptic fit. She wouldn't have the co-ordination to manage to pick up something, aim it and throw it.

    Also just on the race relations issue, I've been accused of being racist and ignorant of someone's culture for not letting him use the phone constantly in work. We only have one working phone on the ward and an eastern european gentleman had been trying to get through to home for 15 minutes. I needed to use the phone to ring a doctor about a patient. I told the gentleman that he could try home later but that I needed to ring a doctor. I was shouted at for 5 mintues and told that i was a racist and ignorant of his culture for asking him to stop shouting at me. He only stopped when a doctor came and told him that he was being rude, that he was the one who was culturally ignorant and to stop shouting at me (which incidentally could be heard halfway down the corridor).

  47. My last comment was meant to be tounge in cheek, I forgot the “😉” at the end that's all. It just goes to show what people automatically assume about others (i.e. that I speed when driving) but that is not the point of this reply.All I think unfortunate incident proves (from reading ALL the comments from everybody that reads the blog) is that everybody has a different view over the actions of this young lady and the police officer in question (most seem to feel that either the lady bought it upon herself by doing the vandalism in the first place and resisting arrest or that the officer over reacted) but can still have the freedom of speech to voice these differences and that is what makes this country such a good place to live in. If this particular officer is found to have over reacted I hope that he is punished accordingly.

    Long live democracy.

  48. I'm not a doctor but doesn't having eplilepsy mean that going out and geting so drunk you kick off in what is known to be a rough sheffield night club, then fighting a policeman, is a bad idea? Tasering her would have been a great idea. Epileptic or not, that way the police officer wouldn't have been punched, or have had his job put at risk by the media.Maybe we should worry about those who SHE assualted who were just doing their job, or whose property she had vandalised as opposed to just one more drunken yob.

    I've been out in Sheffield many times and never been attacked by a policeman, it's not luck, colour, race, or anything else. It's self respect.

  49. Reading some of these replies makes me despair.I spent most of my working career as a professional campaigner, mostly for peace and human rights organisations – and I joined the police relatively recently.

    My preconceptions of the police were pretty much that it was full of thick gung-ho sadists, who skirted the edge of the law in their dealing with the public. That sounds pretty much like what many of the commenters here think too.

    I have to say that the reality is so incredibly far from this. Reynolds calls it a different view of reality – and much of what goes on in town centres at night is like a parallel universe to the one I used to inhabit.

    The level of violence, and lack of respect for themselves and others that is shown is simply astonishing. Do these people who throw rubbish everywhere, swear, fight, kick, glass, gouge and vandalise with such thoughtless abandon really know what they're doing. People who drink until they're violent or incapable do so with an attitude that if something goes wrong it is clearly someone else, anyone else, who is responsible for whatever happens.

    The police (and medical staff) who deal with these people have the patience of saints, and show simply enormous restraint. But their training (and here I'm talking about the police) for dealing with conflict and violence is generally excellent – certainly in my experience.

    Looking at the video in question it looks to me like the officer is using a 'hammer fist' to get a resistant person handcuffed. We simply can't see what is really going on from the video, nor the context in which it is taking place.

    So many of you seem to have made up your minds that what you see is more than 'reasonable force', that it is retaliation, that the officer has 'snapped' or whatever. Unless you were there, you don't know.

    With other criminal trials we don't see video released and commented on without any supporting context other than tv interviews with the 'victim' and her dad. It would be sub-judice.

    Yet, when a police officer is subject to a misconduct hearing it is a free for all. Those (including myself, in my own previous career) who shout the loudest for 'justice' are the same people who when a police officer is accused, are the quickest to pre-judge the issue based on personal prejudice and partial and incomplete information.

    How can this officer expect to have anything like a fair hearing if the national media is picking over evidence in the misconduct process before it has even taken place.

    You cannot judge someone until you've walked a mile in their shoes.

  50. Does this look like an epileptic fit to me, eh no! And blaming the fit on throwing a bollard at the car, let alone having the co-ordination or consciousness to grab someone in a nasty place conveniantly whilst having said fit. Please note, that the aggresiveness in nightclub was caused by fit too, not alcohol and strobe lights, if the epilepsy was that bad, should she have been there in the first place. Epilepsy and race issues, I have my doubts.

  51. Having just watched the video, I'm of the opinion that the only person in the wrong is the female who is being detained. Many of you have mentioned that this is not a race issue, and I'd agree. In my opinion, it's not even an issue of sex – it's simply a case of a drunken offender resisting arrest.Those of you not in the job will probably not realise just how difficult it can be to get a prisoner to comply sometimes. You cannot apply cuffs to a non-compliant prisoner, they must be under control first – indeed, if I've got someone lashing out with a free arm, I'm certainly not giving them the chance of having a lump of metal attached to them so that they can hit me with it!

    Until I see photographic evidence of the supposed facial injuries (I mean, come on – if you'd been smacked in the face half a dozen times, you'd make damn sure you had photographs of your injuries, wouldn't you?), I'll go with the officers account.

  52. Not being a qualified medical professional, I don't know much about epilepsy. However, at a wild guess Id think an epileptic fit would prevent a person from leaping gazelle like up some steps to evade capture by South Yorkshires Finest. I would also suggest that if she was that badly injured by the so called attack, then there would have been some evidence.I dare say she jumped on the gravy train at around the same time as she smelt possible compensation. From what I have seen this was nothing to do with her race and everything to do with her conduct.

  53. “My preconceptions of the police were pretty much that it was full of thick gung-ho sadists, who skirted the edge of the law in their dealing with the public. That sounds pretty much like what many of the commenters here think too. “Nah mate, sorry but it's the way I've seen the Met consistantly handle violent drunks of all shapes and sizes without resorting to several hard punches that actually influenced my opinion on this – my opinion basically being that he retaliated.

    If I'd not seen that so often, I may indeed believe the people on here who claim their experience makes them a better judge than amateurs.

    As I posted earlier: “I have seen numerous fights, almost weekly over 3 years in my previous job, none of which resulted in either police or door staff having to repeatedly punch their attackers…”

    Why does everyone disagreeing with the idea the officer MAY have used a bit too much aggression try to undermine the validity of the other person's opinion by using this tactic, I wonder? I read the thread about this in the Guardian's page too, and the same technique is applied there.

    Couldn't it just be possible that some of us have seen the same stuff, have the same experience of situations like this, and just drew different conclusions?

    But I actually do agree about the sub-judice issue, right or wrong that man shouldn't have to face trial by media… but then I think men accused of rape should have anonymity for the same reason, that's perhaps a rant for another time.

    However, since the film's in the public domain that is non-issue now.

    Interesting though that the police (as an entity) were quick enough to release very misleading details about Charles De Menezes, all that jumping over a barrier (which he didn't) and padded jackets, etc. Talk about “partial and incomplete information”!

    I have a friend in America who believed those details and accused me of being a “conspiracy theorist” – even when I sent her that famous shot of the dead man in his lightwieght denim jacket, lying inside the tube train he should never have been allowed to get on, if the suspicions about him were correct.

    My point being, I guess both sides can play at that game, trial by media and press release, when they choose. And judging someone without walking a mile in their shoes is surely the actual role of a justice system, making sure that special pleading isn't a get out clause.

    If someone posted on here that yon lassie was only drunk because she'd had a horrible life, I give it 0.253 seconds before that bleeding-heart nonsense got cried down – and rightly so IMO.

  54. Well the article says that she was trying to 'grab handfuls of his genitalia…and kick in the same place'. if she was doing this extremely hard, and lets not forget she could be wearing stilletos (nightclub), she could leave a permanant damage on the officer.Also, the two people fell down a flight of stairs, which looks remarkably long to me…did she pull the officer down the stairs as she stumbled under the effects of 'drinking brandy and [becoming]…aggressive' or did the officer just trip due to the violence which she must have supplied in the first place for the incident to occur? or another option?

    Upon the matter of the officer striking her, alcohol is a depressent, and she was drinking brandy, which means there is a strong possibility that there could be a substantial amount within here system. this would mean that pain would be reduced, therefore, if the officer was to subdue her he would have to use more force than usually necassary, therefore, i think there is justification for the increased force; i mean, they took several officers to subdue her at all (the atricle says).

    There seems to be a strong case in the officers defence. As for a racist incident…well…would you stand and take it from someone who was trying to greiviously harm you in your genitalia???

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