Police watchdog statement on ‘choke’ Halifax arrest video

The Independent Office for Police Conduct has released a statement about a viral video showing a controversial arrest in Halifax.

The IOPC is investigating the actions of West Yorkshire Police officers in relation to the arrest of Hassan Ahmed, 27, who was detained in Spring Hall Lane, Halifax on Sunday August 16.

Footage of the arrest was shared on social media. In it shouts of ‘chill out or I’ll choke you out’ can be heard as Mr Ahmed is held down.

Today the IOPC confirmed that it is now independently investigating the incident following a voluntary referral from the Force.

The IOPC wants to speak to anyone who may have seen or heard this incident which took place at around 3pm on Sunday.

Witnesses can email SpringHallLane@policeconduct.gov.uk or ring 0300 303 5730.

IOPC Regional Director Miranda Biddle said: “We can understand why the images circulated have caused considerable public concern and we would like to reassure members of the community that we have taken the decision to independently investigate this incident after West Yorkshire Police made a voluntary referral to us.

“An investigation has now commenced to ensure that we are able to fully understand what happened.

“It is vital that we are able to impartially determine the facts.

“We have already begun to gather evidence but we would like to speak to anyone who was in Spring Hall Lane in Halifax at around 3pm on Sunday who may have witnessed this incident.”

Mr Ahmed, from Halifax, told YorkshireLive that he feared for his life during the arrest and said he couldn’t breathe.

The incident led to a protest outside Halifax police station on Wednesday this week.

West Yorkshire Police has confirmed that an officer has been suspended.

YorkshireLive – Halifax