Protests have been held after a shocking video showed a woman accused of theft being ‘strangled’ in a shop.
During a clip of the incident, that occurred in Peckham Hair and Cosmetics in Peckham, south-east London on Monday afternoon, a Black woman is seen being restrained by a large man.
“Get the f**k off me,” the woman can be heard shouting in a video shot by a fellow customer. “Call the police (…) This man just strangled me”.
Police officers were called to the shop responding to a report the 31-year-old attempted to steal items and an employee had prevented her from leaving.
The woman was arrested on suspicion of assault and later bailed pending further enquiries. The man involved in the footage has not been arrested.
The footage has since gone viral and sparked a protest outside the store on Tuesday amid calls for a boycott. The man in the clip has come forward as the shop owner, who told MyLondon he “regretted” how he handled the incident and he had passed CCTV onto the police.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he is aware people are concerned about the incident and has contacted the Met Police for further information.
Ben Lindsay OBE, founder of Power The Fight charity, said: “The filmed assault on the Black woman in Peckham in an Asian-owned hair shop is disturbing but unfortunately not a shock. Those shops have treated Black customers with disdain for decades which is ironic as Black people – particularly Black women – are the target customers.”
“The way people are going out of their way to defend strangulation as a legitimate method of restraint by a very large Asian man towards a much smaller Black woman shows how desensitised so many of you are to violence against Black women. Rancid,” Nova Reid, author and anti-racism activist, commented.
Barrister Ife Thompson added: “In court, I watched footage of a Black girl being attacked by the police in a cell, in the most violent & degrading way. Then this footage now of the Black woman being strangled in the shop. There is a specific reflex like brutality enacted on Black women/girls just for existing.”
A spokesperson for the Met said it was aware of the protest and urged people to remain calm while they carry out an investigation.
Detective Chief Superintendent Seb Adjei-Addoh, local policing commander for Southwark within the Metropolitan Police, said: “We know people will be concerned about a video circulating online of an incident in a shop.
“Our officers attended on Monday and continue to investigate the full circumstances of what has taken place.
“The investigation will include reviewing the actions of everyone involved. I would like to thank people in our local community for remaining calm and giving us the time to conduct a thorough investigation.“If you have information that may help us I would urge you to get in touch.”
Anyone with any information about this incident should call 101 quoting CAD 3943/11Sep.