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West Midlands Police refers itself to watchdog over viral 'restraint' video

By Jamie Brassington | Sandwell | Crime | Published:

West Midlands Police has referred itself to the police watchdog over a viral video showing officers 'restraining' a man.

A screen grab from the video

The video, which has been viewed more than 1.4 million times, shows an officer repeatedly striking one man on his head.

A police spokesman said the man had assaulted a doctor with a metal crutch during a mental health assessment, before police were called to the scene in Sandwell.

The man then injured three police officers with his walking sticks, the spokesman said.

Officers used incapacitant spray to subdue the man before placing him in handcuffs. He was arrested on suspicion of assault and taken into custody.

Three officers suffered various injuries to their arms, heads, face and hands during the incident, while two officers were treated for the effects from the incapacitant spray.

Meanwhile the doctor sustained a minor injury. The arrested man was found to have no injuries after being medically examined. He is currently receiving treatment in a mental health facility.

The footage, which was captured in a seven-second video, does not show the events beforehand. The video has generated concern from the public.

WATCH the video here:

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Footage shows violent West Midlands Police restraint

The police spokesman said: "The video circulating on social media shows edited footage of officers who attended but does not show the events which lead up to his restraint.

"The full body-worn video of the response shows the man attack the officers with his walking sticks, injuring three of them."

As a result, the force has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct to review whether the use of force was appropriate.

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Head of the force’s professional standards department, chief superintendent Chris Todd said: “We do not underestimate the impact this video has on the public’s confidence in policing.

"On first view, the video is really shocking and we need to understand the full context of what the officers were facing.

“As well as the IOPC referral, we are consulting with key community members.”

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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