Soccer

Police officer appears to punch floored Man Utd fan during Lowry Hotel protests

Video footage appears to show a police officer punching a floored Manchester United fan outside the Lowry Hotel.

Thousands of United fans protested outside both at the team's hotel and at their Old Trafford stadium on Sunday against the club's owners, the Glazer family.

The protests were largely peaceful, despite a small number of fans breaking into the stadium and running onto the pitch on Sunday afternoon.

But a new video clip from the Lowry protest appears to show an uglier side to the day.

A protester appears to be seen being dragged away from the crowd by four police officers.

One of the officers then appears to throw punches at the legs of the floored protester, while another policeman shouts: "Get on the ground."

The same officer then appears to jump off the ground and demand the cameraman, as well as another photographer, to step away from the scene.

An eyewitness told the Daily Mirror: "There was quite a heavy police presence. They pushed the protestors back onto the main road to stop them coming down to the Lowry Hotel where the players were.

"It all went well up until the point the fans found out the game was off, which then it started to turn ugly towards the police, started throwing bottles, lighting smoke grenades.

"They were blocking cars, smashing into cars, kicking cars and then the truck turned up where it all started. They were blocking it. The driver got out, tried to confront them."

The protests forced the postponement of the Premier League's biggest fixture, Manchester United vs Liverpool.

The two clubs agreed with police and league officials that it would be in the best interests of all parties not to play the game after the incidents earlier in the day.

Tensions had been boiling over in the United fan base after their owners tried to join the European Super League last month.

Police said that by late afternoon around 200 protesters had gathered outside the Lowry and over 1,000 at the stadium.

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: "We are aware of a video circulating online of officers making an arrest during a protest today (2 May) near The Lowry Hotel.

"The video depicts officers arresting a 28-year-old male on suspicion of a theft from a motor vehicle and a public order offence. He currently remains in custody for questioning.

"GMP's Professional Standards Branch has been made aware of the video and will be examining the footage and all available evidence to understand the full circumstances surrounding the arrest."

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