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The Independent UK
The Independent UK
Zoe Tidman

Police officer filmed ‘pushing’ woman down steps during Brixton Academy crush


A police officer appeared to push a woman down steps as crowds gathered outside a concert venue in south London.

Eight people were hospitalised – including three with critical injuries – in a suspected crush outside the O2 Academy Brixton on Thursday night.

Police said they were called to reports of a “large number of people attempting to force entry” to the venue, where Nigerian afrobeat artist Asake was playing.

Crowds gathered outside the Brixton Academy venue on Thursday night (PA)

Emergency services rushed to the scene and found “a number of people with injuries believed to have been caused by crushing”.

The Metropolitan Police has launched an urgent investigation into the incident.

Footage has been shared online of crowds building up outside the venue in south London.

In one video, a number of uniformed officers can be seen at the door of the O2 Academy as crowds wait outside.

Police were seen at the doors of the O2 Academy in Brixton (@elsie_leimu/Twitter)
Police appear to be in a scuffle with a woman outside the door in the footage (@elsie_leimu/Twitter)

They appear to be in a scuffle with a woman outside the door, before one officer appears to push her down the outside steps.

The crowd screams in shock, with people shouting at the police. A man in the crowd holds the distressed woman back as she repeatedly says “I’m not f***ing ok”.

He tells her “it’s not worth it” and that she is “better than them”.

Commander Colin Wingrove told a press conference on Friday that police were aware of a “vast amount” of footage of the incident that has been shared on social media.

Three people are still in critical condition following a suspected crush ( @DammySNM/Twitter)

“In relation to some of the images that have been circulated on social media, I can confirm an incident involving one of our officers apparently seen push a member of the public is currently under review by our Directorate of Professional Standards,” he said.

One woman who was taken from the venue to hospital with suspected internal bleeding told the BBC on Friday: “I couldn't breathe and I completely passed out. I thought I was dead.”

She added: “I took my last breath and I could not get any more oxygen. I was so scared.”

Witnesses to the chaos on Thursday night claim everything “kicked off” after police tried to control the crowds.

John, 32, who lives next to the O2 and declined to give his surname, said that the police arrived after the gig was cancelled.

Police are investigating the events that led to multiple people being injured (PA)

“I saw everyone at the front door of Brixton Academy, [then] everything just stopped,” he said. “It looked like the gig had been cancelled, and then some commotion, some pushing and shoving, and the police came shortly after. That’s when it kicked off and became aggressive.”

He added that “you could tell there was tension”, claiming that people tried to get into the venue, breaking the glass of the front doors.

“People at the front of the Brixton Academy were really pushing and shoving and trying to break through the door and force their way in,” he said. “The glass of the doors was broken.”

Singer Asake says those hurt in the incident were ‘in his prayers’ (Walker Banks)

In a statement on the whole incident on Thursday night in Brixton, Commander Ade Adelekan from the Met said: “This is an extremely upsetting incident which has left people critically ill in hospital. My thoughts and prayers are with them and their families.

“A police investigation has been launched, and it will be as thorough and as forensic as necessary to establish exactly what happened last night. The scene will be examined by specialist officers, CCTV will be viewed, every witness that we can make contact with will be spoken to and all other lines of enquiry will be followed.

“Where force has been used by police officers, those officers know they have to be accountable for their actions.”

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