The Football Supporters’ Federation are seeking to identify a Police officer who was videoed at Sunday’s game against Millwall using unacceptable force against a Leeds United fan.

The mounted Police officer was part of a Police convoy used to escort Leeds United fans to and from the ground – a 30-45 minute journey that’s not for the feint of heart.

The journey takes fans on a trip through run-down housing estates and industrial areas where Millwall fans line the streets to greet the travelling opposition fans with a generally classless repertoire of disgusting chants, an assortment of missiles and constant attempts to break the Police line and assault whoever is unlucky enough to be in the way.

As the Police attempted to keep fans separated, one Leeds United fan was struck across the head with a baton from behind. Eye-witnesses at the scene say the attack was unprovoked and that – unsurprisingly – it was the Millwall fans causing the trouble.

Whether the Police officer in question feels he had justification for the attack is irrelevant, we do not believe a baton around the back of the head is reasonable force under any circumstances. This is an assault that could quite easily leave the victim with severe injuries.

Speaking as a football supporter who has been a victim of the Police’s heavy-handed approach at football games – including, but not limited to, CS gas in the face and a baton across the kneecap that left me limping for a week – I strongly believe the Police’s approach often causes more violence than it prevents, angering fans who witness these unjustified attacks and leading to a rapid escalation.

The Scratching Shed hopes the victim of this unjustifiable assault is recovering well and that the Policeman involved will be dealt with by the relevant authorities. Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Amanda Jacks at the Football Supporters’ Federation – amanda.jacks@fsf.org.uk

  • Jimmy

    That video isn’t exactly a great advert for our fans either…

    • Fintowhite

      What????? What are you on about? That police officer on horseback was bang out of order doing what he did. Leeds fans were antagonised by such heavy handed policing…

  • Fred

    Unreal a totally unprovoked attack by the copper. If that hed been a Leeds fan it would have been all over the media with the culprit going down for the attack. Why should the police think they can behave like that with no consequences???? .

    • Russell

      Not for one second defending the copper, but for every one of those there are 100 unprovoked attacks on police officers. They may be heavy handed at times but they are that way for a reason.

  • popt77

    So many knobhead people that follow football. Why were they born without a brain?? Its only football for god sake and everyone supports their own team. Do the knobhead fans think that everyone shold support their team. Get a life! (and i am a Leeds fan by the way)

  • SanMiguelMalaga

    Ah…..what a lovely way to spend a Sunday (watching it on telly was bad enough)!

  • jay

    Act like animals, should be treated like animals and I’m a Leeds fan. They aren’t the best supporters in the world, these are just basic knuckle scraping idiots who look up to the gutter.

    • popt77

      I totally agree with you Jay. This is partly why i dont bother going to watch football anymore. Obviously this isnt a majority but there is often more than enough idiots, In the recent past I followed Leeds home and away for ten seasons so i am speaking from what i have seen too, not just from our own fans of course. We are far from angels!!

      I enjoy football and go to watch it to support my team and not be some pathetic moron who wants to kick off and cause trouble. Can someone answer what the point of being like that is??

      Look at Rugby League, fans drink together and there isn’t forced segregation in the stands. This is how it should be and football fans should follow this example. This is meant to be a family sport.

      • Volley Vent

        well you would wouldnt you. look at rugby league ok lets look at it. fans drink, fans swear, fans fight, infact a rugby fan was killed in the car park of a ground a few years back and thats not even getting into what goes on, on the pitch or the amount of rugby stars who have been caught in street fights in the yorkshire area alone. The difference is its rarely reported in the media and the police rarely get involved because its minor. None of which has anything to do with someone being struck in the head from behind with a truncheon imagine if that was your son or daughter walking along at a rugby match would you say they deserved it??

        • popt77

          ‘Well you would wouldn’t you’ – do you know me or something?!

          I am using Rugby ‘League’ as an example. I have been to many games of both rugby league and football, and it doesnt take a brain surgeon to work out that fans of both sides comfortably mix and get a long at rugby league games and police presence is extremely low in comparison to the number of supporters – this is pretty much a fact!! Yes you get incidents on rare occasions but all im saying is in football there are too many idiots that are just looking for trouble, i know ive seen it for myself! We all know that there is quite a large hooligan element still in football.

          I am a football fan (above Rugby League), go to games for the right reason, i.e to support my team. I dont, and i am not condoning actions by police against innocent fans, but others who are looking for trouble get what they deserve and also i dont condone abuse or violence, and it is just a fact that ive seen far more incidents at football grounds.

          • watch the video or you have no right to comment. The bloke was minding his own business.

          • popt77

            My point is only relating to what others are talking about here. It is a bad part of the sport, and police escorts into stadiums for away fans are the norm.

            I agree the guy was minding his own business and he was innocently caught up in it all. It’s just crap like this that we see all the time, fans wanting to attack other fans, and then even the police end up doing rash things. I am sure that the cop on this occasion will be identified and dealt with accordingly.

    • Volley Font

      What a clown, how is walking along a streat acting like an animal. its people like you and your limited intelligence that mean the police are free to act in this way assualting innocent men, women and children as they go. football fans chant, football fans swear sometimes they even fight. just as they do at rugby, none of this is provacation for a coward on a horse to hit someone for doing what the police are asking them to do walk in an escort.

  • Simon

    I wonder if anyone saying he deserved it actually watched the video? This guy was quite clearly just walking along minding his own business and gets smacked over the back of the head by someone who’s supposed to be there to protect him. Disgraceful.

  • dan

    You must be so proud. Bunch of wankers and you got what you deserved. The bird complaining is hilarious ! Live by the sword, die by it. Grow up, stop crying and move on

    • Bubbas Shrimp

      are you as thick as youre making out, live by the sword……. what walk along a road in a police escort??? I hear they are making forrest gump 2 congratulations you are odds on for the lead role

  • Soup

    All kicking off at Millwall???? Just a load of blokes shouting.

  • Fiona

    This video is what gives football – and Leeds in particular – a really bad name. IT’s irrelevant that the streets were lined with Millwall fans, the Leeds fans were intimidating; shouting, swearing, pushing, chanting. It’s horrible to see. Why can’t football fans just make their way to a game without portraying themselves as complete morons and looking as though they are looking for a fight?

    • Volley Vent

      How in the world does it give fans a bad name??? seriously. the fans were in a police escort, i.e they are surrounded by police and forceably walked somewhere. how were they intimidating the people throwing stuff out of their flat windows. fans chant in most sports i dont here you crying about that. i hope to god no one from your family is ever struck in the head from behind for no reason because you would go into meltdown and i bet you wouldnt be blaming them.

      • Exiled White

        A few years ago, I was at Bury v Swansea. My stepdaughter used to enjoy watching the Swans. After the match, the away fans were locked in. No trouble, just a lot of chanting, as their team just won promotion. Enter Bury’s finest. They came steaming through with their riot shields, hitting my stepdaughter in the process. Totally unprovoked and unecessary. Why? Nobody knows. Guess they wanted to make a name for themselves.

    • Matthew

      Police officers know LUFC fans have a passionate voice. Doesn’t mean a random dude should get smacked for no reason by em.

  • Exiled White

    From personal experience, the plod can be worse than the fans. I have been to matches as a neutral that didn’t involve Leeds and the plod behavior on occasions has been disgraceful. Unprovoked attacks from the plod are not uncommon. When you witness kids as young as ten throwing pieces of bricks at those walking to the ground under a plod escort and the home plod do jack shit except for continue to use their batons to prod at visiting supporters, it makes you wonder why you bothered having a day out watching the footy.

  • vbnjf

    I cant believe some people are confining what that copper did.
    Yet we are Leeds and we are the best behaved supporters in the land. Ha

  • LUFC OK

    if you watch the video you see him walk past and then stuff started coming over then he gets struck in the face, he dint do anything wrong and if it was a Leeds fan hitting the copper he would still be in the nick and thrown in prison . FACT

  • TheDenFaithful

    Those Leeds “fans” got what they deserved! Act like hooligans you’ll be treated as such! Be thankful there was a huge police escort…. Else it would have been far worse!

  • LEEDS LEEDS LEEDS

    Having attended this match on Sunday via coach from Elland Road the police escourt was just one police van which was no protection had there been any incidents but they did get us in early before Millwall fans were up i think!!!!! There were not enough police either in the ground or on the streets when coaches were arriving and departing. There seemed to be coins thrown on pitch from Millwall supporters at Leeds players and Linesman but nothing was done.I think thats why the linesman stopped putting his flag up i.e penalty Tom Lees and fouls on many Leeds players!!!!! This was just ignored had this happened at Leeds we would have been fined etcetc!!!!
    At end of match one Millwall fan kicked off it took 6 police to get him out and then when you looked there were no police only stewards and there fans really kicking offf towards Leeds fans.
    Not a safe place to go !!!!!!!!!!

  • Matthew

    Disgraceful the way the media hasn’t made a bigger issue of this, if the situation was reversed and the fan attacked the officer, the name Leeds United would be dragged through the dirt again, but that Police officer gets away scot free.

    Officer should be banged up, treat it like any ordinary assault.

  • wall

    What a shit article by a thick biaised cunt.

  • Joe Bloggs

    To anyone who says a proportion of our fans are thugs, you’re probably right but that has nothing, I repeat NOTHING to do with this. This is a policeman, who is paid to protect and serve the public. Even if the bloke he hit was a past rapist or child molester who’d served his sentence and been released, he’s not meant to randomly hit him when he’s done nothing. Whether he deserves it or not makes no difference because hitting people at random is not his job.
    If I was as bad at my job as that copper is at his I’d be unemployable and on the street.
    The double standards towards police in this country are ridiculous. They beat up protestors, they shoot ‘terrorists’ who turn out not to be terrorists, they allow themselves to be paid off by journos who hack peoples phones.
    But we never have a go at them, we always blame the bloke who gets hit, who probably contributes to their wages, and who frankly deserves better.

  • Adam Geary

    I am the lad in the Christmas cardigan and red pants, (hard not to miss)
    I saw the whole event and the pr-eluding minutes, the attack was completely unjustified and the policeman in question was constantly goading the Leeds United fans, even threatening to have a fight with one when he was off duty. The Metropolitan police incited more trouble than it prevented in my opinion.

    • TimLUFC

      Complete rubbish about them inciting more troublt than they prevented, as you were there, as was I, you’ll have seen the Millwall fans trying to get between the police vans and in to our crowd, if the police had not been there I can assure you Millwall would not have been asking who wanted a fight and who didn’t. They would have been throwing punches at innocent fans as well and the police prevented this.

  • David Welch

    So, if you condone this it suggests that the police have carte Blanche instruction to treat members of the public who are not threatening the force in anyway, with force. it really doesn’t matter whether you like football or rugby or anything else for that matter, it’s about the general public being protected. By this thug hiding behind law and order wearing an official uniform? I, as a higher rate tax payer? I think not. Shame on the police who claim to uphold law and order and are quick to arrest those that they consider incite trouble (maybe me now?) But in reality they deserve all the abuse they get and until the higher ranked officers stamp out this sort if behaviour , they can not expect any respect from law abiding citizens who demonstrate exuberance whilst supporting a football team. My grandfather was a police officer and in his day you behaved according to the laws by demonstrating right, not wrong. I hope this low life who abused his position loses his job and never has a position of responsibly within society ever again. He doesn’t respect or deserve it. So what happens next? Nothing is my guess, unless I get a knock at the door at an anti social hour and charged with incitement. At that point I suggest intelligent human beings and citizens of the UK refer to this article in self defence and hopefully without a baton around the back if the head. What a cowardly act! Shame on you copper! I wonder what your wife and kids think of your behaviour?

  • J

    In other news……TAKEOVER.

  • Yorkshirian

    The Met act with impunity in every situation, under the woeful guidance of being required not only to be in the right, but to be obviously asserting it.

    Take ‘em to court, Ken.

    no. wait.

    hmmmm

  • Timlufc

    I agree that hitting this guy is completely unacceptable but I was at the game on Sunday and I must say the police did a really good job in what was an unbelievably difficult situation to manage. We were walked through all the estates in South East London, generally throwing abuse at the people watching us from balconies (you can imagine the comments) and in the main, the police were good natured, spoke to us and even laughed at some of the chants. This one policeman has clearly been heavy handed but I think that 99.99% of those police were there to ensure that there was not a full scale riot and they achieved this.

  • Fintowhite

    I’m in the process of making a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission. I would urge other fans to do so too…

  • Jay

    I personally think that the assault by the police officer was disgraceful.A complete abuse of power. It was far more aggressive than the recent infamous case which resulted in the death of an innocent man who was walking away after being attacked by a police officer. Leeds United as a club should support an enquiry into this abuse. Lets be honest , if it was other way around , it would be all over the national press.