Video footage has emerged of a police officer appearing to punch a cafe worker after being called to an eatery packed with 100 customers. 

Officers were called to a cafe in Burnage, Manchester, just around noon on Sunday after the owners defied orders to shut its doors during the coronavirus lockdown. 

Two police officers were seen speaking to a staff member as ‘100 people’ – neither wearing masks nor socially distanced – sat eating at tables inside.  

The man can be seen being led outside by the police as the customers chanted and jeered. 

Video footage has emerged of a police officer appearing to punch a cafe worker after being called to an eatery packed with 100 customers

Officers were called to a cafe in Burnage, Manchester, just around noon on Sunday after the owners defied orders to shut its doors during lockdown

Officers were called to a cafe in Burnage, Manchester, just around noon on Sunday after the owners defied orders to shut its doors during lockdown 

The pair of officers were attempting to detain the man in Manchester on Sunday morning

The pair of officers were attempting to detain the man in Manchester on Sunday morning 

On the street, the pair of officers were surrounded by scores of the cafe customers who were shouting at them as they were arresting the staff member.  

Video footage appears to show one of the police officers punching the man. The cafe worker has since been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer. 

Greater Manchester Police have since said they are aware of the footage ‘involving a man who appears to be struck by a police officer’.

‘This incident happened whilst a 38-year-old man was being arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker and resisting arrest,’ the force said in a statement. ‘He remains in custody for questioning.’ 

The police officers had been responding to reports of a cafe flouting coronarivus lockdown rules ‘with approximately 100 people present’. A number of people have since been fined.   

The two police officers were seen speaking to the staff member before leading him outside

'100 people' inside the cafe followed the officers and the cafe worker outside

Two police officers were seen speaking to a staff member as ‘100 people’ – not wearing masks or socially distanced – sat eating at tables inside

The cafe worker was since been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer

The cafe worker was since been arrested on suspicion of assaulting a police officer

The police officers appear to be trying to hold the man as they arrested him

The police officers appear to be trying to hold the man as they arrested him

The owners of the cafe have posted regularly on their Facebook page about remaining open despite the current lockdown rules.

When asked by a Facebook user whether they could eat inside yesterday, the café replied: ‘Of course u can eat inside. We are not a government, it’s up to u.’

The page also posted a YouTube video on February 5 of police visiting the café. The clip appears to show a number of customers sat inside eating meals.

The cafe has also been fined £1,000 by Manchester City Council for flouting lockdown rules. 

In response, the owners posted on Facebook:  ‘Today we have a massive surprise from free people across manchester to support our business and fight against tyranny. 

‘Also we have received another letter from council and they are trying to close our business down. 

‘Tomorrow we are going to be open as normal to fight back.all kind of support is more them welcome.’  

The cafe has also been fined £1,000 by Manchester City Council for flouting lockdown rules

The cafe has also been fined £1,000 by Manchester City Council for flouting lockdown rules

The owners of the café have posted regularly on their Facebook page about remaining open despite the current lockdown rules

The owners of the café have posted regularly on their Facebook page about remaining open despite the current lockdown rules

The owners posted on Facebook in August: ‘Hi everyone, the Covid 19 propaganda doesn’t apply to our shop. We are open as usual. No muzzle needed when you get here.’ 

Speaking on Sunday afternoon, a witness said: ‘They’ve been open for takeaways, but recently we’ve seen people sitting inside.

‘Today there were about 50 or 60 people inside and outside. No-one was wearing a mask. It was like they were protesting (against the lockdown).

‘About 10 police cars turned up. He’s a nice guy (the cafe owner). We go there for coffee.

‘I don’t know what’s going through their minds.’

Another witness said: ‘I was inside, I heard lots of noise. There were so many people outside. The police caught one man and arrested him.

‘Everybody was making movies on their phones.’

Greater Manchester Police said in a statement: ‘GMP is aware of a video circulating online involving a man who appears to be struck by a police officer.

‘This incident happened whilst a 38-year-old man was being arrested on suspicion of assault of an emergency worker and resisting arrest. He remains in custody for questioning.

‘Police were responding to reports of non-compliance with Covid-19 restrictions by a café on Burnage Lane in Manchester.’

‘Officers attended and in line with procedure, attempted to engage with individuals and disperse attendees.’

‘This resulted in an officer being assaulted.

‘GMP are aware of the footage circulating online and are continuing to assess all the circumstances of the incident, including this footage as well as other footage obtained, at what remains an early stage in the investigation.’

‘An officer sustained injuries but did not require hospital treatment.

’14 Fixed Penalties Notices have so far been issued to those in attendance.’       

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