Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

YouTube Film of Police Clash with Girl, 16, That 'Sparked Riot'

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

YouTube Film of Police Clash with Girl, 16, That 'Sparked Riot'

Article excerpt

Byline: Benedict Moore-Bridger

A VIDEO on YouTube shows a clash between a 16-year-old girl and police which is believed to have been a key spark for the Tottenham riots.

The clip, in which the girl can be seen apparently lying prostrate on the ground surrounded by officers, has been viewed by 26,000 people on the website.

In the video, demonstrators can be heard shouting at police to leave the girl alone and accusing them of attacking her.

The clash took place on Saturday evening during a protest outside Tottenham police station.

Witnesses said what had been a peaceful demonstration over the death of Mark Duggan turned violent when about 15 riot police pushed the girl to the floor.

Tensions had already been raised after the group -- including community leaders, relatives of Mr Duggan and his fiancee Semone Wilson --complained of being left waiting for hours before being able to speak to a police officer.

The teenage girl, a friend of the dead man, is thought to have hurled a champagne bottle which she had brought to the demonstration.

The video was entitled TOTTENHAM RIOTS 2011, YOUNG GIRL ATTACKED AND LEFT WITH FACIAL AND HEAD INJURIES, BLEEDING!

In it, a girl can be heard screaming at police: "It's a f***ing girl, it's a f***ing girl. Look how he is dealing with her."

Laurence Bailey, who was standing nearby, said the girl was "pounded by 15 riot shields". He said: "She went down on the floor but once she managed to get up she was hit again before being half-dragged away by her friend."

Other onlookers said the girl was hit with batons before the crowds retaliated with a hail of missiles.

Ms Wilson, 29, said she had some sympathy with the police. "I heard she went with a champagne bottle. They would not have attacked her for no reason. She had a bottle in her hand and threw it," she said.

Renata Dobiesz, 31, who lives opposite the police station, said the worst violence began at about 8.30pm when groups of youngsters began prowling the street. She said: "The people at the demonstration left pretty quickly, and then there were these youngsters --people with hoods -- who started smashing everything. …

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