Graphic video of a violent machete attack on an unarmed police officer in London has emerged, as officers come forward to express concern over rising violence against colleagues.
Footage obtained by The Sun shows the 28-year-old policeman having toppled onto his back as the attacker, a black male reported to be in his fifties, hurls himself towards him, appearing to bring down his sword-like weapon like an axe. The alleged suspect charged with attempted murder over the attack has been named as Muhammed Rodwan of Luton, London.
A senior police officer spoke out after the attack, saying the intensity of violence against his officers was a “symptom of people having less fear of the police.” British newspaper The Times reports his remarks as: “It’s shocking, but unfortunately it’s not uncommon. I’ve been in police for a long time — there’s certainly a sense of a lack of respect, not just for police but for authority.”
British police officers are do not usually carry firearms or even less-lethal weapons such as tasers, but in this incident the attacked officer did happen to be carrying the latter, and a direct hit from it took the wind out of his assailant’s sails as he fell on him.
A bystander with a thick accent can be heard saying, “Hold him down cuz, hold him, hold him” as the attacker is detained, while the officer radios “I need an ambulance now, I’ve been stabbed with a machete.”
"The most routine of jobs could now cost an officer their life."
Former police officer @NormanBrennan says the machete attack on an officer in east London was "appalling" and warns the streets of Britain "are not safe".
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 8, 2019
Pictures from the aftermath of the attack show the critically injured police officer on his hands and knees with much of his face masked in blood from a head injury, but still holding up his radio to communicate with colleagues.
“This was a frenzied and brutal attack on a uniformed officer carrying out his duties,” commented the senior officer in charge of the North East Command Unit.
“What began as a routine vehicle stop transformed very quickly and unexpectedly into an unprovoked attack with a weapon… Despite being repeatedly stabbed, his first thought was to protect his colleague and members of the public,” he added.
“That’s the type of character he is — he is an amazing police officer.”
One of the officers sent to the scene as back-up was the victim’s girlfriend, who later wrote that she was “Heartbroken” by what she found in a social media post.
“My world fell apart. Words can’t fill the thoughts I feel. Best wishes everyone, keep safe and remember to always have your colleagues’ back,” she added.
A police officer can be seen being consoled after a colleague was stabbed in the head in a machete attack in east London.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 8, 2019
The whole episode was triggered by officers simply pulling over a van with no insurance, with police spokesman saying this demonstrates how even the most mundane tasks can now escalate into deadly violence.
Officers frequently complain that prosecutors and judges do not take assaults on police officers seriously, often failing to pursue charges or letting perpetrators off with non-custodial or suspended sentences — and contributing to the atmosphere of general disrespect for law enforcement which makes serious incidents like the one in Leyton.
“Enough is enough. Police officers should be going home at the end of their shifts. Not to hospital,” commented Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh.
“The strongest punishments possible must be passed down to those who would attack police officers protecting the fabric of society. We must protect the protectors.”
Remember when I was spat on back in Feb and I had to have my eye rinsed and tests for Hepatitis?
And that it was on CCTV and obviously I made my statement?
And that he was charged?
Just heard today CPS are dropping it as not in public interest.
— Insp Alex Taylor (@NapD) July 25, 2019