‘Police brutality’ against Free Education demos investigated by IPCC
They made us cry
Aggy cops are under the microscope following allegations of violence at last term’s protests.
Following complaints against the West Midlands police by students, an investigation has been launched into the alleged ‘dangerous’ use of CS spray during a demonstration on campus for free education.
10 students have complained to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), sparking the investigation. The three students arrested during the protest have not been the ones to issue a complaint.
Video footage and photographs of the event demonstrate the use of Tasers and CS spray against the 20 students taking part in the organised sit-in.
According to the police, the Taser provided “an audible and visible warning” to students, and was not fired during the events.
Complaints made by the students claim that the police failed to provide aftercare to those affected by the use of CS spray. Instead, students were intimidated and threatened with arrest if they did not immediately leave the scene.
The investigation is being conducted independently by the IPCC as opposed to the police force, which is rare, suggesting the recognition of the effect and severity of police actions.
Sophie Morbey, a second year Politics student, has high hopes for the investigation.
She said: “The investigation is hopefully going to force the university to apologise for the impropriety of its response and acknowledge its role in facilitating the illegitimate actions of the police”.
Lorenzo Feltrin, one of the original protesters, stated that the whole incident was a violent and unprovoked violation of his right to protest.
He said: “I was surprised to see this level of unprovoked violence deployed in a UK university. The fact that there will be an independent investigation confirms the seriousness of our claims, but does not necessarily guarantee the seriousness of its outcomes.”
West Midlands Police have been unable to comment at the time of publication, and will not be providing comments throughout the investigation.