Police deny Sikh man’s turban was ‘forcibly removed and stamped on’

The incident happened at the Perry Barr custody suite in Birmingham

An investigation has been launched after an officer was accused of forcibly removing a Sikh man’s turban.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) announced the probe after a complaint was made against West Midlands Police.

It follows an incident at Perry Barr custody suite, just outside of Birmingham city centre, on the afternoon of Monday 25th October.

The police watchdog said the officer’s actions were accused of being ‘racially motivated’.

West Midlands Police and the IOPC said an ‘inaccurate’ video published on social media suggested a man had his ‘turban forcibly removed and stamped on’ at the station.

A police spokesperson said: ‘The author has used an image from elsewhere giving an entirely misleading version of the events. The CCTV featured in this video is not connected to this incident.

Perry Bar, Birmingham

‘We can confirm that a man in custody was asked to remove his patka to be searched.

‘It was removed by an officer in a private room to search for anything that could be harmful to the man or our custody officers.

‘The head covering fell to the floor at one point, but was immediately retrieved and at no point was it stamped on.’

They added all CCTV footage of the officer’s interactions with the man is being examined further and they understand the religious significance of head coverings in the Sikh faith.

IOPC regional director Derrick Campbell said: ‘This incident has caused understandable unrest within the local community and I want to reassure everyone that this will be thoroughly and independently investigated.

‘We are now in possession of all the CCTV footage from the custody suite, which I have viewed myself. Our investigation will look at the actions of police during the incident to determine the facts.

‘What I can say with absolute certainty at this stage, in direct response to questions I have received from members of the local community, is that the head covering was not stamped on at any stage.

‘A false video shared on social media has caused significant concern for many and I am appealing for calm while this is investigated. Rest assured we will be working hard to ensure the facts of what happened are brought to light and this matter is dealt with appropriately.’

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here