Footage has emerged from Sunday’s Manchester United fan protest against the Glazers that appears to show a police officer punching a fan on the ground.
The majority of the protests, which were staged outside Old Trafford before United’s scheduled 4.30pm kick off game against Liverpool and by United’s team hotel in the city centre, went peacefully.
But police and some protesters clashed by the entrance by the Munich tunnel at the stadium, where a group of fans gained — and succeeded — in gaining access to the ground, demonstrating on the pitch itself.
Police and security then quickly moved supporters back and cleared the area around the stadium, although the decision was then taken to postpone the Liverpool match amid safety concerns.
But it was outside the team hotel where this alleged incident between a fan and police officer took place.
In exclusive footage taken from outside, the officers are heard telling a young male to “stop resisting” as they attempt to make an arrest, dragging him behind a police van.
It then appears one officer punches the man on multiple occasions in his mid section.
The footage is filmed by bystanders. The officer can be heard shouting “get back now” to the civilians nearby.
The person filming the incident replies: “No need to touch me. I’m getting back.”
The police officer then shouts: “Do as I say”, to which the man filming responds: “I am doing as you say, no need to touch me.”
Prior to the arrest a small number of fans appeared to stop a lorry in the middle of the street and the footage then shows them remonstrating with the driver, who had climbed out of the vehicle.
One eyewitness told the Mirror: “There was quite a heavy police presence. They pushed the protesters back onto the main road to stop them coming down to the Lowry Hotel where the players were.
“It all went well up until the point the fans found out the game was off, which then it started to turn ugly towards the police, started throwing bottles, lighting smoke grenades.
“They were blocking cars, smashing into cars, kicking cars and then the truck turned up where it all started. They were blocking it. The driver got out, tried to confront them.”
Greater Manchester Police issued the following statement: “We are aware of a video circulating online of officers making an arrest during a protest today (2 May) near The Lowry Hotel.
“The video depicts officers arresting a 28-year-old male on suspicion of a theft from a motor vehicle and a public order offence. He currently remains in custody for questioning.
“GMP’s Professional Standards Branch has been made aware of the video and will be examining the footage and all available evidence to understand the full circumstances surrounding the arrest.”