UPDATE: Footage emerges of controversial arrest in Brixton

ARREST: footage of the restraint by officers on Sunday

Video footage has emerged of an arrest in Windrush Square, Brixton, which sparked allegations of heavy-handed treatment by police officers.

The images show three officers restraining  51-year old Freydoon Baluch on the pavement, watched by bystanders and drinkers outside the Ritzy cinema on Sunday afternoon.

After being restrained by police Baluch appears to be unconscious on the floor, as those watching shout for them to call an ambulance.

Baluch, of Regency Street, SW1 was due to appear in custody at Camberwell Green Magistrates Court today charged with affray, possession of cannabis, assault on police and outraging public decency.

One eyewitnesses is heard to say in the film: “That was well over the top there was no need for that.”

Another said: “Look at that, you can see the boot mark in his face… Someone call an ambulance.”

Tonight, after a public memorial to Sean Rigg, who died in police custody in 2008, protestors will march from Lambeth Town Hall to Brixton Police Station to make a formal complaint about the incident captured above.

Marcia Rigg, Sean’s sister, wrote on the Brixton Blog yesterday: “This is appalling and demonstrates the need for officers to be made accountable for restraint related deaths as lessons are obviously not being learned.

“This is exactly how Sean died when he became unconscious after being restrained faced down in the prone position for approximately ‘eight minutes.'”

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “Police were called to Windrush Square at approximately 5.10pm on Sunday to reports of a disturbance.

“Officers arrested a man in his 50s at 5.25pm. After concerns about his health officers called the London Ambulance Service. An ambulance arrived at approximately 5.30pm and he was taken to a south London hospital.

He added: “He was later discharged and taken into custody at a south London police station where he remains.”

The deputy commander for Lambeth met with with angry residents at Brixton Police Station on Sunday to address their concerns.

The spokesman said: “As a result of the meeting police have recorded this as a complaint against police, and the MPS Directorate of Professional Standards is now investigating.”

Residents have set up an email address for eyewitnesses to send more video footage of the incident to, brixtonpolicemonitor@gmail.com.



  1. Alright, Brixton Worker, don’t lose your daily rag. Whether the man on the floor is a wanker or not is not in question.

    There is never a justification for the POLICE to stomp on a man’s head.

    End of.

    You lose.

  2. Im sure this man was an upstanding member of society who was not aggressive in anyway and showed the police complete understanding and respect. I bet you he hadn’t done anything wrong whatsoever, and was not one of the special brew crew that spend all their days in Windrush Square and the church yard dealing and taking drugs and dragging the area down. I bet he was completely unresistant to arrest, safe in the knowledge he could argue his case about the misunderstanding at the police station. And I bet this was his first run in with the police, and he hasn’t spent a lifetime learning how to give the old bill the run around.

    Yeah right. Be careful whom you make a martyr off. I would like to hear the police’s side of the story too.

  3. How about a headline that is a bit truer to the story, like “Video emerges of police stomping on man’s head.” Calling the footage “controversial” would imply that there is a controversy . Unless you are aware of some upstanding citizens ardently defending the police’s duty to stomp on black people’s heads (something that, admittedly, does fall into their purview from time to time), it seems pretty clear that there is no “controversy” involved in the matter.

    Also, a BBC investigation from earlier this year concluded that British police systematically conceal the amount of people who die in police custody. Aiddtionally, over 300 people have died in police custody since 1998, or that not a single police officer has ever been convicted this.

    These facts could, in the interests of objective journalism, be listed before or after the paragraphs reprinting the police and politicans’ shitty excuses.

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