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New footage surfaces of incident where boy, 12, ‘hit by woman with paddle’

By Tess de La Mare

Police are examining new footage of an incident in which a white woman allegedly hit a 12-year-old black boy in the face with a canoe paddle.

Avon and Somerset Police faced criticism for its initial decision not to prosecute the woman for the incident at Conham River Park in Bristol on the afternoon of March 26 this year.

A petition calling for the police to take action featured a picture of the boy’s bloodied face.

Avon and Somerset Police said on May 6 it was reviewing the decision not to prosecute, with the process being monitored by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

On Tuesday, the force said it was now reclassifying the incident as racially motivated.

The assault allegedly occurred after the woman accused the boy of throwing stones at her from the river bank, despite the fact he was one of a number of mostly white children present.

The petition claimed the woman had attacked him with her paddle “for throwing stones which he didn’t even throw”.

On Thursday, a two-minute clip was posted on Instagram of the suspect screaming at the group of children and threatening them with her paddle.

The victim can be seen in the background with blood dripping down his face.

Chief Inspector Mike Buck said: “This new video has been passed to the reviewing officers and they will examine it in detail.

“Our ongoing review will be thorough and comprehensive, and as such will take a bit of time to complete, but we can confirm that we’re preparing a file of evidence for the Crown Prosecution Service.

“We are listening deeply to people’s concerns and completely understand the strength of feeling this incident has generated.

“We want our communities to have full confidence in this review process and we’ll be doing all we can to achieve this.”

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Dive Deeper:
Police to investigate woman who 'hit black boy, 12, with paddle' after public backlash
Police have reopened an investigation into an alleged racist assault of a 12-year-old black boy, Antwon Forrest, who was struck…
Viral video shows woman shouting 'who else wants some?' amid reports of racist attack against boy
Officers say they know the footage is 'concerning'
Bristol police reclassify paddle attack by white woman on black boy as racist
Review launched after Antwon Forrest’s family initially told no further action being taken
Police reclassify ‘paddle attack on 12-year-old boy’ as racially motivated
Senior officers are reviewing a decision not to prosecute after a woman was arrested and then de-arrested following the incident.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Antwon Forrest: Police say boy hit in face with paddle was victim of racist attack after case reopened
Officers apologise for dropping case they now think was hate crime
Police re-classify 'paddle attack on boy' as racially motivated
Senior police chiefs have met with the victim's father and renewed the appeal
Get all your news in one place