An impromptu block party in Brixton, South London, descended into anarchy, after police called to the scene were assaulted and chased away. Twenty-two officers were injured in the resulting mayhem.
Cops were pelted with bottles and other projectiles on arrival at the scene near the Angell Town housing project in Brixton.
Footage posted to social media shows a large column of law enforcement officers facing off with the crowd as they attempt to pull back.
In one video, a shirtless man can be seen standing on top of a police car as he smashes the vehicle’s windshield with a broken-off table leg. A police van was also chased and attacked by the mob.
The Metropolitan Police Service said it had been called to the area due to noise and public safety complaints, but that the crowd had refused to cooperate. Elements eventually became “hostile” towards officers, it explained.
Four arrests were made before the police were forced to withdraw to safety. The unlawful gathering was eventually dispersed in the early hours of Thursday morning.Chief Superintendent Colin Wingrove branded the violence “totally unacceptable,” and said it would not be tolerated. Home Secretary Priti Patel also condemned the “utterly vile scenes” that occurred during the fracas.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, expressed similar sentiments, and added that the large gathering posed a health risk as the city tries to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Brixton has been the scene of a number of violent incidents over the years, including shootings and stabbings, and saw extensive rioting against what was widely perceived as racist policing, in the 80’s, 90’s and, most recently, in 2011.