London police are under investigation after a resurfaced video showed a group of officers huddled over a Black woman as she yells, “I can’t breathe.”
The video of the May incident was published by the Guardian on Tuesday and shared on Reddit. According to the report, eight officers are being investigated for punching the woman repeatedly during an arrest.
The woman was arrested on a charge of obfuscating a drug charge, but the charges against her have since been dropped.
The video, which is less than a minute long, shows a chaotic scene with sirens blaring and indiscriminate screaming. The woman is heard yelling, “I can’t breathe!” repeatedly.
“Please stop, please stop!” she screams as at least four officers are huddled over her. She has since said that at least one of them was kneeling on her neck. “Get off, mate!” someone else screams.
The woman continues yelling “I can’t breathe,” and another bystander is heard yelling, “She can’t breathe. Get off!”
The person behind the camera is heard saying she “beat them.” It’s not clear who this comment references.
The woman, who was 28 at the time of the incident, told a BBC program that she was pulled out of a moving car by an officer during a run for takeout food. She also said she resisted the officers’ force to protect a wound from an earlier surgery.
“Having a male officer using all his body weight, burying his knee into my neck, and using all the power within him to try to cut off my air supply,” she said, according to the Guardian. “I just remember things turning like they looked a bit radioactive to me because I couldn’t… I knew that I was losing consciousness.”
The woman was later strip-searched in front of male officers. She said when she was screaming “I can’t breathe,” the officers mocked her. One officer said, “If you can talk, you can breathe,” according to the Guardian report.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct is looking into whether police acted with misconduct and if race or discrimination were at play.
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