Tower Hamlets youth worker vows to ‘fight all the way’ to clear name over arrest
- Credit: Supplied by Zakaria Hussain
A Tower Hamlets youth worker has vowed to “fight all the way” to clear his name over allegations that he assaulted a police officer.
Law graduate Zakaria Hussain, who is known as Zak, was arrested outside The Arbour Youth Centre in Stepney on October 8 and has been on police bail ever since.
He claims he was stopped for no lawful reason and subjected to a “violent ordeal” while cleaning his car outside the youth club.
But police say he was “non-compliant in a difficult policing situation” and an investigation is underway.
Mr Hussain said: “I haven’t done anything untoward. I’m planning to take this all the way to court because stuff like this can’t be happening in this age. I was just cleaning my car outside the youth centre.
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“Police look at certain people from our community as an inherent threat to public safety. We’re not.”
The Metropolitan Police say neighbourhood officers were on routine patrol in Shandy Street, E1, on October 8 when they spoke to some young men due to concerns about anti-social behaviour in the area.
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The officers called for additional assistance at 8.10pm before a man was arrested on suspicion of assault on a police officer and a Section 5 Public Order Act offence.
Video footage of Zak’s arrest was filmed on a mobile phone and has been viewed tens of thousands of time on social media.
It shows a police officer with his hands around the 26-year-old’s head and it has caused widespread community concern in Tower Hamlets.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), the force’s watchdog body, has launched an investigation.
A Met spokesman said: “Senior officers at Tower Hamlets are aware of the footage of the arrest being circulated on social media and of community concerns regarding this.
“As soon as they became aware the man in the footage was contacted to see if he wished to make a formal complaint.
“A full investigation is necessary as the footage captures only a snap shot of officers restraining a man who is non-compliant in a difficult policing situation.”
A solicitor who worked on the recent Hillsborough inquest has taken up Zak’s case and the youth worker has started a crowd-funding campaign to cover legal costs.
An estimated 500 people are expected at a rally in support of Zak, calling for an end to heavy-handed policing, at Altab Ali Park in Whitechapel on Saturday at 2pm.
* Anybody who saw the incident involving Zakaria Hussain, or who has any footage of it, is asked to contact the IPCC on 0800 151 0019 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
* Are you attending the rally at Altab Ali Park on Saturday? If so, send your photographs or video footage of the event to the Advertiser by emailing email@example.com