Several police officers have been removed from their usual duties following concerns over the use of force during an arrest in Birmingham after a video of the incident was shared on social media.
The footage, which was first posted on Twitter on Sunday evening before going viral, shows a group of young Asian men being stopped by plain-clothes police officers in Birmingham.
During the exchange on Upper Sutton Street, Aston, one man appears to be kicked by one of the officers. The man can also be seen being hit several times with a baton.
In a statement, West Midlands Police said it was “treating this matter seriously”.
“Whilst an assessment is being carried out by experts in the Professional Standards Department, the officers featured in the footage will not be deployed on usual duties,” the statement said.
“We are continuing to gather as much information as swiftly as possible to understand exactly what has happened. As always, we are treating this matter seriously.”
An Independent Police Complaints Commission spokesperson told BuzzFeed News: “At this time we have not received a referral from West Midlands Police in relation to this matter but we have asked the force for further information.”
Khalid Mahmood, the Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, told The Guardian: “I am extremely concerned about what has gone on and how it was dealt with … I have already spoken to the police and they are looking into it ... the police have been pro-active about this.”
He added: “I don’t want people to think this is the norm, it’s an isolated case and there should not be a rise in tensions at all. I want to reassure people we are looking at it.”
After watching the video, Jess Phillips, who represents Birmingham Yardley, tweeted: "It does not look good but without all the information there is little more comment I can make. Will speak to Police."
Victoria Sanusi is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Victoria Sanusi at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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