This report contains images some readers may find distressing.
The police watchdog, IPCC, is investigating after a 15 year old child was severely injured during an attempted arrest in South London on Tuesday night, needing hospital treatment.
The boy, Terrell Decosta Jones-Burton, was treated in a critical care unit in a south London hospital for a split lip, lost teeth, broken jawbone, bruising on the brain and abdominal pain. His condition is currently described as “stable”.
Police say they were contacted by a woman at around 9pm who reported that her phone had been stolen by a male Youth who had then fled on a bicycle. A short while later police attempted to detain Terrell. According to their statement;
“While being detained, [Terrell] came off his bicycle and was taken by the London Ambulance Service to a south London hospital where he remains in a stable condition with facial injuries.”
It’s not clear from the police’s statement exactly how he “came off his bicycle”, and they have not elaborated further at this point. His injuries – which potentially include internal bleeding – would appear to be extremely severe and extensive if they are the result of a simple fall.
Terrell’s mother Shereen Jones, who posted pictures of her son’s injuries to the hashtag #JusticeForTerrell, says that he was heading home from the shops when he was attacked by police.
‘He has no criminal record and no involvement with the police.’
Speaking on her facebook page, Terrell’s mother Shereen said:
“Was all of this necessary over a phone? Police brutality on young black boys has to stop.”
Statistics confirm her accusation of brutality, showing the UK’s largest police force do use force disproportionately against black suspects.
Rotherhithe, where Tuesday’s incident took place, has seen a recent spike in robberies of mobile phones snatched from pedestrians by muggers on mopeds, bicycles or on foot, and police are struggling to deal with a 13% rise in crime amid their budgets being squeezed, but nothing excuses this level of force used on anyone, much less a minor. Children deserve to feel safe on our streets, and they deserve to feel protected, not afraid, of police while going about their daily lives.
We will bring you more information as the story develops.
Anyone who may have witnessed the police interaction with Terrell Decosta Jones-Burton is asked to contact IPCC investigators on 0800 029 4687 or firstname.lastname@example.org.