Shock over video showing police officer 'hitting teenager' in Sheffield city centre

South Yorkshire's top cop has defended a police officer who was allegedly filmed hitting a teenage suspect on the ground while making an arrest.

Wednesday, 18th September 2019, 12:22 pm

The footage appears to show four police officers holding down three young males to the floor while arresting them in Sidney Street, Sheffield city centre, on Sunday, August 25, at about 9pm.

As one of the males struggles an officer appears to hit him with his hand.

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Officers making an arrest.

A passer-by who shot the video described the police officers' approach to arresting the teenagers as 'brutal'.

The 20-year-old Sheffield man, who did not want to be named, said: “I was quite shocked, the amount of force they were using was unnecessary.

“The lad on the floor was wriggling about but he was not fighting and there was two other officers with him. There was no need to do it (hit him).”

While he has not made an official complaint, the eyewitness called for police to investigate the matter fully.

Footage of the incident.

He added: “I released the video because I want to draw attention to what happened on that night because it just wasn't right.”

A South Yorkshire Police spokesperson said the force is 'looking to understand the exact circumstances of this incident, including speaking to those present at the scene.'

During the incident, two boys both aged 16 and one 19-year-old man, were arrested on suspicion of criminal damage.

A video has emerged of the incident.

One of the 16-year-olds has been released with no further action.

The other two have been released under investigation.

No official complaint has been made in relation to how officers dealt with the situation.

Chief Constable Stephen Watson has reviewed the footage and defended his officers.

Officers make an arrest.

He said: “Police officers face dangerous situations every day and are highly trained to respond proportionately.

“We require our officers to intervene proactively, positively and fairly.

“They have a legitimate right to use force in certain circumstances and having personally reviewed the footage, I see no evidence to suggest that these officers were not exercising their duties in a proportionate and lawful manner.

“These officers are doing precisely what the public ask of them and they have my full support.”

Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police Stephen Watson.