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INCIDENT OF POLICE AND DOG ATTACK OF MY HUSBAND
Sunday 27th March 2011
Time: approx 2.10pm
VICTIM: Raza Hussain
I write this statement very distressed, saddened but equally furious at the incident which occurred on Sunday 27th March involving myself, my husband Raza Hussain, and a police officer with her police dog.
The police woman's identification number is CO6353 and the registration of the vehicle she was driving is MC09CMC.
My husband and I drove to Bakers Arms, an area in Walthamstow, East London, to buy sandwiches from Subway on Lea Bridge road as we were planning to drive to Dover for the afternoon. We parked the car on one side of the road and attempted to cross the busy road to get to the Subway shop. A couple of cars with members of the public kindly slowed their driving to allow us to pass however the police woman, upon seeing us, deliberately accelerated to drive faster towards us. I must stress at this point we were not aware this was a police woman as the window's were tinted, it was an unmarked car and the police woman was not dressed in full uniform. There was a clear gap in the road between us trying to cross and this car driving towards us. There was no need at all for her to accelerate.
When we learnt she is a member of authority it made this situation so much worse and outrageous. What was the intention of this member of authority to increase her driving when seeing members of the public trying to cross? She clearly had bad intentions as she drove so close to us her car knocked my right arm as it drove past. I later discovered she had knocked my husband's leg.
Understandably my husband and I were upset by this unnecessary behaviour, therefore my husband knocked on the car window raising his hands at the police woman and saying, "what's that for?" The driver emerged but we were still unclear she was a police woman. She did not confirm her identity or show us a badge or anything to declare her status. Instead she said, "you've messed with the wrong person" and opened the back of her car and brought out a huge Alsatian dog.
The event which followed was unbelievably distressful and upsetting to watch. This woman grabbed my husband proceeding to push him to a shop window while yanking the dog towards my husband threateningly. I can only describe the dog as wild barking continuously and jumping up trying to attack my husband. My husband looked terrified and I was frozen on the spot, I could not believe the scene I was observing. It was so distressful and I still feel anxious as I write this statement and very emotional.
My husband started to say he was sorry and I heard him say sorry at least 5 to 6 times. I really did think at this point, being a member of authority (which we later discovered this lady was) she should have used this moment to diffuse the situation. Instead she proceeded with holding my husband, pushing the dog threateningly at my husband and saying, "hold up your arms I need to check if you have a weapon". All of a sudden a huge crowd of people started emerging to observe the incident and I could see from the expressions of members of the public that everyone was equally distressed and angry by the injustice they were observing.
In his fright my husband rushed into the shop behind him, the woman followed him and continued to hold onto him and continued to allow the dog to behave threateningly. She kept saying to my husband he needs to raise his hands so she can search him. My husband was petrified and refused to do this and commented he was scared her dog will attack him. Not at any point did she try to reassure him the dog won't or even explain the procedure to him or try to diffuse the situation. There were members of the public in the shop and the dog moved closer to an older lady who looked frightened and quickly ran out of the shop. Again this so-called police woman did not seem concerned by the public outrage and fear she was creating and instilling.
I called 999 and explained the situation and was shocked to hear the controller confirm he cannot send police as it appeared we were being dealt with by a police woman. He did not attempt to radio her or check who was patrolling the area. What if this had been an imposter terrorising my husband? Why did the controller not at least check who this woman is? I kept insisting the controller send for help at which point he disconnected. My heart sank I looked around me with despair who do I call now for help? It was an awful awful heart wrenching situation. I'm a tax paying law-abiding citizen and contribute to the income of these police officers. Why did they let me down? Why did they not send for reinforcements to at least come and check the scene? This controller made no attempt whatsoever to check what was happening.
Eventually the shop keeper and another member of the public called the police and two cars arrived. As the public outrage was growing and people were shouting to the woman to leave my husband she started to change her tone. She started to speak calmer and said, "I just want a chat with this man". I was outraged and asked her why she had not approached the situation in this manner from the outset. Clearly she was feeling uncomfortable by the amount of public support we were generating and how she had upset so many members of the public by her actions. Finally my husband managed to release himself from her grip and she said, "you are a foolish man, a foolish man."
What was she hoping to achieve? To humiliate my husband because she did not want us to cross the road and he knocked on her window because we did not want her to knock us over? Did she want to abuse her power and felt she was able to do this as we are Asians and Muslims and perhaps she perceived us as weak passive members of the public? I was proud of my husband's bravery and refusal to succumb to her bullying and terrorising behaviour. At this point my husband was understandably very upset and infuriated by the manner in which he had been treated. He told the woman and the other police officers he would be taking the matter further. He was very emotional and we did try to calm him but his behaviour was more than justified.
The other police officers who appeared on the scene made little attempt to add justice. One Indian police officer continued with the hostile behaviour and started shouting at my husband. He then asked my husband to move away from the public by saying, "let me hear your statement away from your friends". These members of public were not our friends, we did not know anyone. These were members of the public who were so disgusted and upset by the scene they had witnessed and kindly stayed by our side to ensure justice would prevail. At least three men stepped forward to offer their statement but the police did not take this. They commented that unless the witnesses had observed the initial scene with the driving then they would not take their statement. Where is the logic in this? These witnesses had observed the terrorising behaviour of the woman and her dog, why did they not want to listen to this? Was their main objective to protect their peer and diffuse the situation to ensure she does not get into any trouble?
The Indian police officer proceeded to say any police officer can use the dog where they feel justified. So in future if a member of police tries to knock down an individual and the individual protests should we all expect to be terrorised by a dog? IS THIS THE LAW? If yes this needs to be communicated to the entire public. I am confident this is not the case! And the use of police dogs is only permissible during very serious extreme situations.
We are so very quick in the UK to comment on other countries abusive regimes and how middle east countries treat the public like animals and these regimes need to be changed etc (I need not reiterate what we say about these countries as we are all aware of the consensus view). Please tell me how different was this behaviour we experienced from these abusive regimes?
We are grateful a number of people stepped forward to provide their details as a witness.
I have not been able to sleep since the incident. I keep remembering the fear on my husband's face and her terrorising manner and the aggressive dog. I keep remembering how helpless I felt in the UK of all countries!! Why was I made to feel like there was no one I could turn to? In a situation like this why did the public come to our support and NOT the police? We cannot and will not be treated like this. We may not get justice and this woman may not even get cautioned however we will do whatever we can to get our story heard.
On Sunday 27th March, I was crossing the road with my wife in between a large gap between cars on Lea Bridge Road in London. Suddenly the black pickup truck in front of us decided to accelerate apparently upset i had crossed the road in front of their truck. i dodged out of the way, the truck scuffed my leg (my wife also had her arm brushed by the accelerating car), i put my arms up in protest, the vehicle slowed down and i knocked the window with the back of my hand at which point the vehicle braked and stopped. Out jumped a woman in overalls and exclaimed "you've messed with the wrong person" and proceeded to the back of the pickup van and opened the back door to take out a huge alsation attack dog. She rushed towards me with the dog in her hand and demanded i put my hands on the shop window which i did momentarily purely out of fear, i then realised i was exposed with my back towards the dog which i thought was going to be set on me to attack, i tried to run inside the shop - all this was happening whilst the women had one hand on her attack dog barking madly at me and the other hand gripped tightly onto my arm. Now inside the shop, with the women still gripping onto my arm, i tried desperately to apologise in order to try to calm the vicious women and her dog but this had no effect at all. she demanded i go back outside while she searches me for "weapons". i asked the shopkeeper to call the police. The next 15-20 mins i spent with the women holding onto my arm and demanding i go out of the shop, i refused fearing she would set the dog on me outside the shop. By this point a crowd of onlookers had appeared some of whom were inside the shop pleading with the women to let me go - they saw how during this whole time, the dog was barking ferociously and jumping up towards me being restrained by the women. i gave up trying to cooperate with this women and put my arms on my head and turned my back towards her and managed to work her grip off me and became FREE. She put her dog back in the vehicle at which point the police arrived. During this whole time, I was not aware this was in fact a dog handling police woman. I am a tax paying law abiding citizen who has never been in trouble with the police. I work in a professional job. I have now lost my confidence in the police and law system, this type of rogue terrorist behaviour can happen to anyone. I will be trying to approach the authorities to see if justice can be done and this "police women" is released from service so that she does not have the ability to carry out an action like this (including reckless driving) to another innocent member of the public. PLEASE SUPPORT THIS VIA THIS PETITION, ANY HELP APPRECIATED...