Belfast Telegraph

'Significant concern' over police role in incident where man was hospitalised: Sinn Fein's O'Dowd

Sinn Fein MLA John O'Dowd has welcomed a Police Ombudsman investigation into an incident in which a man was hospitalised.

The man received a head injury during a brawl which was broken up by police using batons outside a bar on William Street, Lurgan, in the early hours of Monday morning. 

Phone footage has been circulating online showing the incident, and three men have been arrested by police.

The PSNI has notified the Ombudsman of the incident, and a full investigation will take place once a complaint is received.

Upper Bann MLA O'Dowd said: "There is significant concern among the community regarding this incident.

"At this stage a number of witness statements have been recorded and I would call on anyone who witnessed the incident, including those who have video footage, to bring this forward to the Ombudsman's offices as a matter of urgency.

"It is vitally important that the Ombudsman's office sees all evidence, carries out a thorough investigation and delivers the truth behind the events which led to this young man’s terrible injuries.

On the arrest operation, a PSNI spokesperson said: "This involved a large aggressive crowd, batons were used by our officers and a male received a head injury. The male is now conscious and communicative, receiving hospital treatment."

The spokesperson added: "Whilst incidents such as these often receive a surge of online attention and side line commentary, it is important to remember that speculation and short clips of the aftermath of an incident do not show anywhere near the full picture."

Body worn camera footage will be submitted to the Ombudsman as part of the investigation, and anyone who witnessed the incident or who has their own footage is urged to contact the non-emergency number 101, quoting the reference number 8 of 04/06/2018.

Information given will assist any investigation carried out by the Ombudsman and the PSNI.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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