A local freelance Health and Safety Advisor from Moss Side, Neville Edwards, has been charged with Actual Bodily Harm (ABH), after he bit a GMP police officer who was violently punching and elbowing him, whilst another officer kneed and punched him.
Mr Edwards, 31, posted a 12-minute video of the incident on his YouTube channel, which has sparked calls for the GMP officers involved to be investigated.
In the 12-minute video, Mr Edwards is taken to a cell in Longsight police station on 16 July 2015, after being arrested for allegedly being drunk and disorderly on Great Western Street, which “is untrue”, he told TNT.
“Two of the officers travelling in one of the vehicles that night said they didn’t see any of that [drunk and disorderly behaviour]” in court, Mr Edwards said.
Following the “completely unprovoked arrest, from a female officer who had a bit of a grudge” against Mr Edwards, he used his t-shirt to create a ligature around his neck in suicide attempt in the cell.
In the footage, about 4 officers re-enter the cell and remove the ligature from Mr Edwards and, “There was certainly no threat to them. It’s me that I tried to harm. It’s really difficult for me watching that. All I have is this feeling of sheer terror. It was an outright attack on me from them [police]”, he told TNT.
“There is no need for them to drag me off that bed onto the floor, start kneeing me. The point they say I bit this officer, I’ve already been hit at least 5 or 6 times extremely hard. You can see that from the footage”, he continues.
GMP’s Assistant Chief Constable Garry Shewan said: “We are reviewing the circumstances surrounding this incident to ensure that the actions of all the officers involved meet the required standards to justify the force used on this occasion”.
Even after receiving what clearly appears to be a vicious and violent attack from the police officers, Mr Edwards has sent an apology to the officer who he bit for punching and elbowing him. “I would like to apologise to Police Sergeant Witham that it was unfortunate he was injured. It wasn’t intentional. I have had a good 10-year working relationship with the GMP. I do not have anything against the force itself”.
According to Mr Edwards, Mr Witham has claimed to have been left with a prolonged injury from the bite, yet when asked in court if he has had any time off work, or any medical evidence to prove his claims, the sergeant said no.
When asked about his treatment violent towards Mr Edwards, Mr Witham admitted he was wrong to use the force he did. “He overstepped the mark. He admitted that in court, that he used unnecessary force”, Mr Edwards said.
Mr Edwards was charged on 14 January 2016, and is due to be sentenced on 10 March 2016 at Manchester Crown Court.
After being locked in the cell for the weekend back in July 2015, Mr Edwards was then remanded in custody for 6-weeks in Strangeways Prison, before a judge ordered that he was granted bail, he said.
Meanwhile, he is “looking at all options” where legal decisions against the GMP officers are concerned. “My main concern is to try and find a way to move forward”.
He states he received a phone call from GMP on 27 January 2016 who enquired if he was going to press any charges against the officers who attacked him.
Regardless of your gender, ethnicity, creed, age, background, physical or mental health, there is no justification for the police’s behaviour in the video.
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