5 May 2005 Edition

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PSNI attack caught on camera

The Police Ombudsman's Office is being asked to investigate an incident involving PSNI officers punching and kicking members of the public during an arrest operation in the Waterside area of Derry last Saturday morning.

Footage of the attack was caught on camera shortly after 23-year-old Richard Adams was arrested near his Violet Street home.

In one scene, a PSNI female member is shown battering a young girl to the ground after being confronted about the behaviour of her colleagues. Another officer is seen striking a man at least three times on the head with a baton before being wrestled to the ground by another PSNI man.

The incident has sparked fury in Derry and Sinn Féin's Mitchel McLaughlin said this week it underlines the need for a fully accountable police force in the North.

"This is evidence that nothing has changed," he said. "The PSNI have been a haven for human rights abusers and these actions prove that. What we have is a heavily-armed group who act without redress".

After the weekend's events, around 25 family members and friends of Richard Adams protested outside Derry court, where he appeared on Monday accused of causing grievous bodily harm to a female PSNI member.

Adams was remanded in custody to appear before Derry Magistrates Court via video link on 19 May.

His father Ken, a member of the Labour Party, said his family plans to take a civil action against the PSNI.

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