Police filmed pointing assault rifles at two men holding hands up in London

Officers videoed with raised weapons during traffic stop

May Bulman
Tuesday 01 August 2017 11:34 BST
Met police point guns at civilians in Hackney arrest

Police in London have been filmed pointing assault rifles at two young men as they held their hands in the air.

Mobile phone footage shows two armed officers aiming their weapons at the men as they sat in a car in Hackney.

During the stand-off on Tuesday, which lasted over a minute, the men can be seen questioning why the officers were using “excessive force" against them.

In separate footage of the same incident, a number of officers police vehicles can be seen at the scene as local people gather, some questioning the need for "so many police".

Scotland Yard said the vehicle was stopped as a result of "information" the force had received, and that three men - aged 25, 24 and 22 - were arrested for possession of drugs, money laundering offences and possession of an offensive weapon - which they revealed was a hammer.

Police said they could not confirm whether the men arrested were those in the car.

In the footage, which has been shared hundreds of times on social media, one of the young men in the car can be heard saying: “I don’t know why you are pointing guns at us. We’ve done nothing wrong. We’ve been involved in no criminal activity.

"You lot killed someone the other day. We don’t want to be a victim… I don’t know why you lot are doing this. All of this force for no reason.”

A woman can be heard in the background shouting: “They’d only been there for five or 10 minutes and then the police just pulled up like this. And they’ve got guns – why? They can’t do that.”

At one point, one of the officers can be heard saying: “Stop talking over me.”

The incident came after 20-year-old Rashan Charles, a Hackney resident, died after being chased and apprehended by police in a local shop, prompting widespread anger in the community and demands for justice.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is now investigating officers' contact with Mr Charles.

CCTV footage widely shared on social media shows an officer pursuing him on foot before a struggle ensues, which many have claimed constituted excessive force.

It also follows the revelation that the number of fatal police shootings recorded in England and Wales had hit a 12-year high.

Figures released by the IPCC show there were six fatal police shootings in the 12 months to March 2017, doubling the total of the previous 12 months.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: "Detectives in Hackney are investigating after three men were arrested for possession of drugs, money laundering offences and possession of an offensive weapon.

"As a result of information the vehicle was stopped by armed officers. When the car and occupants were searched a quantity of drugs, cash and a hammer were recovered. Three men aged 25, 24 and 22 were arrested as above.

"All three were taken to north London police station where they are currently detained. Enquires continue."

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