‘Cops assaulted us in front of our kids’

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IOL st empd1 SUPPLIED A senior Ekurhuleni metro police officer shortly before he allegedly shoved and punched motorist Malcolm Brown.

Johannesburg - A couple have laid a charge of assault against two Ekurhuleni metro policemen who allegedly shoved and punched them while their two small children looked on.

They tried pursuing the metro police vehicle, but could not keep up as the officers were driving at break-neck speed.

Malcolm Brown said he was driving towards Modderfontein Road in Edenglen on Sunday morning. He stopped at a red traffic light and in the distance saw an officer in the road. When he drove on, the metro police officer flagged him down.

Brown said he assumed it was a routine check and he rolled down his window.

“He raised his voice, shouting at me and asking why I had driven through a red robot,” Brown said.

He denied the allegation and was told he was getting a fine.

Brown said he got out of his car and followed the officer to give him his details as he had been ordered to do.

Brown said that as the officer was writing out his fine, he asked him how he could see the traffic light from such a distance.

“He responded, ‘I am the law’. One of his colleagues then got out of the back of their vehicle and approached me,” Brown said.

The second officer told Brown he was the supervisor in charge.

“A third officer then came over and starting shouting at me, saying ‘you are wrong’. I could see that I was not going to win in this situation and requested their names as none of them had name tags. I was then told to ‘f*** off’,” Brown said.

Brown then took out his cellphone and shot a video of the car’s registration number. He then approached the senior officer pointing his cellphone at him to capture his face.

The video, which has been posted on community crime-fighting organisation eBlockwatch’s Facebook page, then shows the officer attacking Brown before it ends.

“As soon as I started to film, he grabbed my arms and wrestled me to the ground. His colleague then also grabbed me, and the officer in the film punched me in the chest,” Brown said.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesman Chief Superintendent Wilfred Kgasago said that if everything Brown says is true, then there is a problem with the conduct of the officers. He urged Brown to come to them with the video footage and information on what happened so that an internal case could be opened and taken to their integrity commission.

“People fear they will be victimised by officers if they come forward with information, but that is not the case. It is only through community involvement we can root out problems,” Kgasago said.

Brown said his wife saw what was happening, got out of the car and ran to him during the attack. She was also pushed by the police officer and was also allegedly punched in the chest.

His two children, aged 3 and 5, watched the altercation from the backseat of their car.

“I could hear my kids screaming, so I grabbed my wife and ran to our car, locked the doors and phoned the police,” Brown said.

He said his children were hysterical and everyone was traumatised by what had happened. He said the metro police officers then drove off with their blue lights on.

Brown said he followed them for about eight minutes, but they were driving in circles and he could not keep up with the speed they were travelling at. He estimated they were driving 120km in a 60km zone.

The couple opened an assault charge at Edenvale police station.

eBlockwatch founder André Snyman, who encourages the public to record policemen in the wrong, said it was a case of a member of the public chasing the police.

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