Residents voice concerns over arrest in Brixton

Mona Donle, left, and others outside Brixton police station this evening

Concerned residents are outside Brixton police station tonight after they claim police used “unacceptable” force while arresting a man in Windrush Square.

Eyewitnesses say a “disturbed”  man, aged  in his 50s, passed out while in a choke hold by officers in Windrush Square at about 5.45pm today.

Brixton resident Mona Donle was among those who plan to lodge a complaint at Brixton police station. She told the Blog:  “Three officers were holding this man. They pushed him to the gr0und.

“One officer choked him by holding his forearm across the man’s throat. Then another officer stamped on him. The foot was on his face and then the man passed out – we kept telling them to call an ambulance.”

“The man came round after about 20 minutes – and they were giving him oxygen. People down there were talking about Sean Rigg and Smiley Culture – it was so shocking to see such unacceptable behaviour from the police going on.”

The arrested man had earlier been reported behaving erratically and throwing bottles at people in central Brixton.

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 the angry residents late last night to address their concerns.

The spokesman said: “Any subsequent complaint will be fully investigated.”

The reports come only days after a damning narrative verdict at Southwark Coroner’s Court said police used “unnecessary force” while restraining mentally-ill Sean Rigg shortly before he died of a cardiac arrest.

Ms Donle has appealed for anyone with footage of the incident to email


  1. Tactics in the US would be pepper spray or shot in the lower leg if armed as a deterrent – in this case even though ‘bottle throwing’ dangerous, the police did not have to resort to such brutal force & if the accused had succumbed to death – RIOTS-RED FACES-LADEN WITH PAPERWORK-MEDIA ATTENTION….AGAIN! LEAST WE FORGET LAME EXCUSES & NEGATIVE RESPONSE FROM THE IPCC.
    No lessons have been learnt be it from the politicans or the mental health department involved. Some of those patients are not monitored merely thrown out of Hostels/Hospitals without correct tracking, and some patients drug intake dished-out by non-professionals (non-British illegals hired for cash in hand); and this has been proven in the past.
    The residents of Brixton should take a firm stand, but not play into the hands of the police because ‘some’ police do take a sick pleasure putting the ‘boot in’ despite colour – good luck Dear Brixton for I have resided there and loved the overall culture and kindness expressed by many.

  2. All very one sided
    The guy was a danger to the public and the people who are entrusted to safeguard the public are always the scapegoats.
    This guy was violent and the police, at a risk to themselves, arrested him. I was sitting nearby and felt reassured the police was there to deal with the bottle thrower.

  3. This is appalling and demonstrates the need for officers to be made accountable for restraint related deaths as lessons are obviously not being learned. Where is the care here?! This is exactly how Sean died when he became unconscious after being restrained faced down in the prone position for approximately ‘eight minutes’. This caused lack of oxygen and blood flow. If Sean had survived, he would almost certainly have been brain dead. All are welcome to come to our public memorial meeting at Brixton Town Hall on Tuesday 21st August 2012 from 6.30 pm to discuss these very serious concerns of the Rigg family as it directly affects the community. No Justice. No Peace.

  4. Lambeth council health scrutiny committee, which i chair, will be hearing from South London and the Maudsley NHS mental health trust about lessons they have learnt from their failings leading up to Sean rigg’s death. All welcome at the Town Hal from 7pm October 23

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