Sunday, 11 March 2007


Pc Anthony Mulhall, of South Yorkshire Police, was removed from public duty this week as he was captured on CCTV footage (pictured above) using "brute force" when he struck a young black woman from Sheffield, Toni Comer "as hard as I was physically able" while arresting her.

He claims to have hit Toni Comer, who was 19 at the time, to subdue her so she could be handcuffed.
However the CCTV footage shows the violent truth in which Ms Comer falls down some stairs, whilst PC Mulhall falls on top of her and then she is pinned to the ground by Mulhall, another PC and two of the nightclub staff. PC Mulhall can be seen to deliver five punches to the young lady while a foot then appears to be placed on her body before she is dragged away with her trousers by her ankles. The footgae can be viwed here.

Chief Superintendent Ali Dizaei of the National Black Police Association called for an investigation by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, saying that it was "absolutely" a concern that race may have been an issue. But he also said that, while the video looked "appalling" at first glance, it was acceptable for officers to use force of the kind seen if it was necessary to stop the person being arrested from harming themselves or someone else.

Shami Chakrabarti, director of Liberty, said: "These images turn the stomach and raise serious questions about police misconduct.

Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesman and MP for Sheffield Hallam, Nick Clegg, said: "The violence in this footage is shocking, especially as it took place as several officers were holding down one woman."

To read more about this incident click here.

In regards to this issue the debate of whether the media are playing "the race card" or Ms Comer is actually a victim of "racial and/or police brutality" is being discussed, for example on Skynews Weblog with someone (who I am quite sure doesn't even know Ms Comer) claiming she "is a nasty piece of work and deserved the treatment she received".

Hannah Pool who writes for The Guardian presents a "black woman's perspective" on the incident and surrounding issues (clik here to read).

No comments: