Several arrests were made following the clash
Several people were arrested in east London after protesters clashed with officers attempting to arrest a man on “immigration offences” on Saturday.
Videos shared on social media showed scores of protestors clashing with police, with some clips showing officers hitting locals who tried to stop the arrest on Kingsland high street in Dalston. Protesters lined the street and could be heard shouting “let them go” in response to the people who had been detained by officers.
The Metropolitan Police said it was carrying out a “pre-planed operation targeting e-scooters and moped-enabled crime” in Dalston at 7pm on Saturday when officers identified a man who was wanted for immigration offences. After officers sought to arrest the man, protesters gathered to stop them, the Met Police added.
Witnesses at the incident described “horrendous” scenes as violence broke out. Journalist Samir Jeraj who was at the protest said “police and protesters periodically clashed with police” and said he saw someone “hit multiple times with a baton.” The Metropolitan Police claim officers were also “assaulted” during the clash but none required hospital treatment.
In one video a group of over half a dozen officers can be seen pushing into the protesters knocking some of them to the ground before one protester is seen being beaten with a baton and pushed to the ground. In another video, one of the protesters is seen on the ground surrounded by police while onlookers shout “he’s punching him.”
He added that the man wanted by police for immigration offences was eventually put in the police van and driven away despite protests from people on the street.
A police statement in response to the incident read: “At around 7pm on Saturday, 14 May officers were carrying out a pre-planned operation in Ashwin Street, Dalston targeting e-scooters and moped-enabled crime.
“In the course of this operation they stopped a man who was shown as being wanted for immigration offences.
“As officers went to arrest him for these offences a crowd gathered and tried to stop them. In a very short time the crowd grew significantly in size.
We are aware of efforts on social media to summon people to the area specifically to obstruct officers, suggesting the incident was an ‘immigration raid’.
“A number of officers were assaulted. Fortunately they did not require hospital treatment. Police vehicles were also damaged. Several arrests were made for offences including violent disorder.
“We are aware of a number of videos on social media filmed during the incident. We would urge people to remember that such videos rarely provide a full and accurate picture of what is taking place.”