Sussex Police responds to video of man saying 'I can't breathe' while being restrained during arrest

Sussex Police has responded to a video showing a man saying 'I can't breathe' while being restrained during his arrest.

The video, taken on Tuesday, July 7, 'relates to the arrest of a 28-year-old man in Montpelier Road, Brighton by officers searching for a missing 17-year-old girl', Sussex Police said.

In the video, the man is lying on the ground with three police officers surrounding him. He is believed to be from the BAME community.

He said: "As you can see, I'm not struggling or resisting. Why have you got your knee on my neck?"

Sussex Police

He went on to say 'get off my throat' and 'I can't breathe'.

This comes in the wake of the death of George Floyd in the US, who uttered the same words before he died at the hands of a police officer, sparking Black Lives Matter rallies across the globe.

Another video which circulated on social media showed the arrest of a 22-year-old man who appeared to be concealing a large blade in York Road, Hove, on Friday, June 26.

In response, Brighton and Hove policing commander, Chief Superintendent Nick May, said: “The videos show two separate incidents in Brighton and Hove.

“In Hove, officers stopped a man who appeared to be concealing a blade. He was found in possession of a pair of garden shears and arrested. A further search recovered two kitchen knives and suspected stolen goods.

“In Montpelier Road, Brighton, officers were investigating a missing teenage girl who they subsequently found and took into safety.

“We understand that some people may find these videos shocking but it is important for people to understand the wider context. Both videos show a small part of much longer interactions.

“All police officers are trained to use reasonable force, lawfully and proportionately, if they believe there is an imminent risk of physical harm to either the public or to themselves, and if they cannot otherwise defuse the situation.

“We are reviewing these incidents, including body worn video footage captured at the scene, to identify if any further investigation or learning is required. We have voluntarily advised the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC) that we intend to refer the most recent matter to them for additional scrutiny.

“It is vital people can trust and have confidence in our policing approach, that we are fair, inclusive and that we treat everyone in our diverse communities equally and with respect. We meet regularly with community groups and independent advisors to seek their feedback and advice on this but accept there is always more work to do.

“We await the outcome of the reviews of these incidents and will take any appropriate action as required.”

Both men remain were released under investigation, police said.