A male has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker following an incident that happened on 7th February 2021 when officers were called to a suspected mass Covid breach at the ‘Kate & Luc Cafe’ on Burnage Lane, Manchester.
Lucjan Domanski, 39, of Chapel Street, Levenshulme has been charged with assault of an emergency worker.
He will appear at Manchester City Magistrates Court on Tuesday 23 February 2020.
Officers were sent to the cafe after reports that between 40 and 60 people were breaching Covid restrictions at the premises.
Speaking earlier about the incident, one witness told reporters:
‘They’ve been open for takeaways, but recently we’ve seen people sitting inside. Today (Sunday 7th Feb) 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].
The cafe’s proprietors have been open about their defiance of lockdown restrictions and have frequently posted on social media about ‘operating as normal’.
They have previously shared pictures of a £1,000 fine they had received from Manchester City Council earlier in the month for breaching Covid restrictions.
Back in August, they wrote: ‘Hi everyone, the Covid-19 propaganda doesn’t apply to our shop. We are open as usual. No muzzle needed when you get here.’
When officers arrived on the scene, they attempted to engage with the cafe owners and their customers but were met with a barrage of abuse.
One police officer was assaulted at the scene but did not require any treatment in hospital.
A partial clip of the incident was shared on social media which showed an officer appearing to strike a male.
Greater Manchester Police have now confirmed that the use of force against the male who appeared to be resisting arrest has been referred to their Professional Standards Branch.
A spokesperson for Greater Manchester Police said:
‘Some concerns have been raised regarding footage circulating on social media which shows officers arresting a man following this incident in Burnage.
‘GMP has reviewed all footage available, including that obtained from police worn body video which shows the full timeline of events.
‘Whilst initial reviews suggest that officers’ actions were reasonable when assessed within the wider context of the situation, following concerns raised by members of the public, it has been referred to GMP’s Professional Standards Branch in line with usual policy.
‘Officers in attendance were confronted with verbal abuse from numerous members of the public – all of whom were in breach of coronavirus lockdown legislation – present at the scene.
‘They were then further faced with a reluctance to cooperate by a number of those present, despite the officers attempting to engage with them.
‘One officer sustained physical injuries in the process’.
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