Cops defend restraining 'little boy', 13, screaming 'get off' after 'officer punched and shoppers abused'
POLICE have defended themselves after a video showed officers restraining a 13-year-old who is screaming "get off".
Two schoolboys were arrested in an incident which saw an officer allegedly punched several times and shoppers abused at a shopping centre in Wolverhampton, West Midlands.
Footage posted on social media showed an arresting officer restraining one boy as he lay face down in the Mander Centre yesterday.
Concerned onlookers are heard telling the police "you don't need to put all your weight on him like that" and "he's a child".
West Midlands Police said their officers "acted appropriately", adding "remember a snapshot does not tell the whole story".
Cops had been called to the retail centre after reports that two teenagers playing truant from school were causing a disturbance.
A police spokesman said the two young boys were "being abusive to shoppers and causing disorder".
A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) attended initially, but a plain clothes officer had to intervene.
More officers were called to the scene before a 13-year-old boy was restrained for his and the cops' safety, police said.
One arresting officer is seen pressing down on the boy's back and right arm while another man appears to hold his left arm up.
Please remember that a snapshot does not tell the whole situation the officers faced
The young boy is spread-eagled on the floor and heard screaming "get off".
A woman is heard shouting to the police "look at the size of the little boy, you're a bully" while another urges "get off his arm".
Officers had to manage "hostile" members of the public while the two lads were arrested for breach of the peace.
An officer was punched several times while making the arrest, with both boys later dearrested.
One boy will be dealt with at a later date for allegedly assaulting a police officer and damaging equipment after being taken to a police station.
The footage sparked anger among some on social media, with one person posting: "I’m sorry but why is it acceptable to use so much force on a young child who is a minor?"
Another wrote: "He is just a small kid."
But others backed the police, with one person tweeting: "Most public don't like policing being seen in public.
"They believe telling the little boy to calm down should do it. In the meantime, boys his age are regularly murdering and stabbing."
West Midland Police Chief Inspector Hasson Shigdar: “We understand that incidents like these are very emotive when viewed on social media, but please remember that a snapshot does not tell the whole situation the officers faced.
“We are collating bodyworn footage and our Professional Standards Department will make a full assessment, but initial investigation shows that officers acted appropriately within Home Office guidelines.”
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