Crime scene
As the situation unfolds, protesters have gathered outside the shop, calling for justice and raising concerns over the treatment of black women. Pixabay

In a concerning incident at a hair products shop in Peckham, South London, the police have launched an investigation following the circulation of a video online. The video seemingly depicts a black female customer being physically restrained, with the person responsible appearing to grab her by the throat.

As the situation unfolds, protesters have gathered outside the shop, calling for justice and raising concerns over the treatment of black women.

The Metropolitan Police swiftly responded to the incident, which occurred on Monday, and called for calm as emotions ran high among community members who protested outside the shop on Tuesday.

Det Ch Supt Seb Adjei-Addoh, the local policing commander for Southwark, reassured the public, stating: "We know people will be concerned about a video circulating online of an incident in a shop."

The video in question shows a man attempting to restrain a woman from behind. In her attempt to free herself, she swings her shopping basket towards him, which escalates the situation as he appears to grab her by the throat. The video's disturbing nature prompted immediate public outcry.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan expressed his concern and involvement in the ongoing investigation, saying: "I know Londoners are concerned by the recent events in a shop in Peckham. I'm in touch with the Met police and am urgently seeking further information."

The Runnymede Trust, a prominent organisation focusing on racial justice and equality, also condemned the incident, stating: "We're absolutely horrified by the recent incident at Peckham Hair and Cosmetics. We must work to root out the violence against black women, which is so normalised in our society."

Det Ch Supt Adjei-Addoh assured the community of a thorough investigation, saying: "Our officers attended on Monday and continue to investigate the full circumstances of what has taken place. The investigation will include reviewing the actions of everyone involved. I would like to thank people in our local community for remaining calm and giving us the time to conduct a thorough investigation."

The police received the initial call shortly after 1 p.m.

According to their statement: "It was reported that a 31-year-old woman attempted to steal items, and an employee prevented her from leaving. The woman was also accused of assault. She was arrested on suspicion of assault and later bailed pending further enquiries."

However, the man seen in the video believed to be the shop's owner, Sohail Sindho, has not been arrested at this time, though the police emphasised that the investigation is ongoing.

In response to the incident, protesters gathered outside the shop on Tuesday, demanding its closure as a sign of accountability and justice.

The police acknowledged the protest and maintained their call for calm, stating: "We are aware of a protest outside the shop, and officers are in touch with the organisers. We appeal for people to remain calm while we carry out a full investigation."

The video capturing the incident was recorded by Edilenny Douteo, an 18-year-old witness who shared her account with MyLondon news website.

Douteo explained: "I went to the shop to buy some products with my friend. And I saw the lady; they were shouting at each other from the beginning."

The witness continued: "She was asking for a refund, and they told her that is not possible. So she went to the shop and she told them that if you're not gonna get my refund, I want to get what I'm supposed to get for my money."

The MyLondon report identifies the man in the video as the shop's owner, Sohail Sindho, who claimed that the altercation stemmed from an argument over the customer's request for a refund. Sindho alleged that he was assaulted first, leading to the escalation of the situation captured in the video.

This incident adds to a series of troubling events where members of the black community have reported mistreatment by individuals in positions of power or authority.

In July, a distressing video emerged showing a woman being handcuffed by two male Met officers in front of her child, who was visibly upset. It later turned out that the woman had been falsely accused of not paying her bus fare.

Similarly, in December of the previous year, a woman recounted that her two teenage sons were subjected to disproportionate force due to their race when they were arrested after one of them forgot his travel card.

The brothers, aged 13 and 15, were on their way to school when rail staff stopped them because the younger boy did not have an Oyster card with him. Video footage circulated online showed the 15-year-old being held against the wall by several rail staff, while, according to other reports, an officer had held him by the neck.

In the wake of these incidents, the community in Peckham and across London is demanding justice, accountability and an end to the normalisation of violence against black individuals, especially women.

The ongoing police investigation will be crucial in determining the facts surrounding the altercation at the hair products shop and addressing the concerns of the public.