A British woman turned to public opinion in Britain during the past hours, after a video clip spread widely during which the police arrested her in front of the eyes of her child, who was terrified and crying, despite the police officers trying to calm him down and reassure him.
Thousands of Britons soon expressed their sympathy and solidarity with the mother, who was arrested in Croydon, south of the British capital, London, after it became clear that the reason for the arrest was trivial, which is that she did not pay the bus fare she was traveling from one area to another, meaning that she did not pay an amount not exceeding 1.5 pounds (1.9 US dollars).
A woman who witnessed the incident was able to document it with a mobile phone camera and posted it on her Twitter account, and it quickly garnered about five million views in less than 48 hours, and sparked a wave of anger among public opinion, as many deplored the woman’s arrest for this trivial reason and her child’s intimidation in this way.
Passers-by on the street saw the incident, and some of them asked the officers why the woman was arrested, only to discover that it had nothing to do with the bus ticket only.
Days after the Mayor of Croydon’s survey seeking support for extra police powers has closed, a Black woman is dragged up like this over a £1.75 fare that she PAID— Larissa (@Larissa_Ken) July 24, 2023
If this is Croydon before extended powers, what will happen after?#CroydonWithdrawConsentpic.twitter.com/vZAOshhKIP
British police responded to the video, defending the actions of their men, and saying that it was believed that the woman had not paid the bus fare, but this was later proven to be a mistake and the woman was allowed to leave.
Police alleged that the woman was “abusive” towards the officers and tried to walk away.”We are aware of a video circulating showing a woman being handcuffed by police,” London’s police said in a statement.
According to the police, the passengers’ tickets were being inspected. One of the women decided to leave the bus when the revenue inspector asked her to verify her fare payment. When the police requested her to stop, she attempted to exit and became verbally abusive. Consequently, she was apprehended on suspicion of fare evasion and taken into custody. However, once it was established that she had indeed paid her fare, her arrest was annulled and she was allowed to continue her journey.
And the police continued in its statement: “Our officers are in regular contact with local community groups and forums, and we will discuss the matter with them and listen to their views.”
In another statement, the police said: “We know this is a distressing video, especially as the child seems visibly disturbed by how his mother was arrested. We are sorry for the upset caused to the child.”