Scotland Yard is facing calls for an investigation into three police officers who were filmed pinning down a man as he appeared to have a seizure.
The incident in Tower Hamlets, east London, on Tuesday afternoon – which was recorded and posted on social media – shows a man of Asian or Middle Eastern descent having spasms on the pavement as he is restrained.
He can be heard shouting I can’t breathe and my heart during the footage, while a woman who is trying to break up the incident screams: You’re killing him.
Additional clips posted online show other officers arriving to try and stop members of the public from watching the drama unfold, with the man – who appears to suffer a bloody wound to his head – later ending up unconscious.
Police said the man, 38, was being arrested because his car was obstructing the highway and other motorists and he refused to move it or provide officers with his driving licence.
But the conduct of the three officers who held him down has been widely condemned by those sharing the footage, which the mayor of Tower Hamlets, John Biggs, has described as clearly disturbing.
In a statement, Mr Biggs called on the Metropolitan Police to immediately refer the clearly disturbing incident for an independent investigation.
He added: While we should avoid jumping to conclusions, everyone must be able to feel safe on our streets and have confidence in our police. An independent investigation will help to ensure this.
Police said in a statement they are aware of the footage and that the incident has been referred to its central east command professional standards unit.
The force said: The officers concerned recorded the incident themselves via their body worn video cameras as is normal practice. Police in Tower Hamlets are talking to and listening to the local community. The matter has been referred to the Central East Command professional standards unit.
The man remains in custody at an east London police station on suspicion of obstruction of the highway, assaulting police and resisting arrest.
Two of the officers involved sustained minor injuries.