My name is Olly, I'm 24 years old, I suffer from Brittle Bone Disease and because of this, I am sometimes reliant on a wheelchair to get around. I also Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I live in London with my wonderful partner Vaclav and my very intelligent & loving assistance dog; Max.
On Wednesday 26th May I was brutally beaten, tipped out of my wheelchair and assaulted in my home by the police after my partner had called them to say that our upstairs neighbour was trying to kick our door down. I was told that I was being arrested on the grounds that they had "reason to believe" that I had possession of a firearm. obviously, I did not. There subsequentlyt thorough search of my person, my home and surrounding area was able to substantiate that.
There was absolutely nothing, to my knowledge, that would suggest to anyone that I had access to any form of weapon. I have no criminal record or historic involvement in criminal activity to suggest otherwise beyond the fact I am a young, black, queer, trans, person of colour with significant mental health issues; namely Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is my belief that it was this gator and this factor alone that led to my arrest and the gross display of police brutality that followed
After the initial incident in my home, I was physically assaulted by the police on several further occasions while in their custody. This led to me spending the next five days in St Thomas' Hospital, London, where I was treated for multiple injuries to my head, shoulder, wrist/hand and ribs. While in hospital, I went on to have three consecutive seizure due to the head injuries the police had caused me, I had these seizures while handcuffed to my hospital bed and under constant police supervision by unto 5 officers at any one time as they looked on watching me violently convulse and did nothing.
The purpose of this campaign is to raise funds to bring a legal challenge against the police and to cover the costs of accessing mental health care/therapy to limit the damage this traumatic sequence of events has already caused to my mental wellbeing.
On Wednesday 26th May I was brutally beaten, tipped out of my wheelchair and assaulted in my home by the Police after my partner had called them to say that our upstairs neighbour was trying to kick our door down. Im trying to raise funds to bring a legal challenge against the police and to cover the costs of accessing mental health care/therapy to limit the damage this traumatic sequence of events has already caused on my mental wellbeing.
My partner had called them because the man that was living in the apartment upstairs was on a drug-fuelled rampage and was trying to kick our door down. This person had broken into the flat above us a few weeks before in a similar way by kicking the door down of a vacant flat while the actual tenant was in hospital. When he broke into the flat upstairs a few weeks prior, one of the residents living upstairs called the police who attended and, to our surprise, assisted him in gaining entry. He had told them that he lived there and they took him at his word. You've probably gathered at this point that this man is white.
Over the weeks that followed our building became a living hell. The communal areas were swarming with local drug users coming in and out of the building, completely taking over the entire building. The lock on the communal door was kicked off rubbish all over the stairs, used needles lying in the hallway, people smoking from a crack pipe on the doorstep.
Around this time, my monthly delivery of medication (which I rely on heavily both for my physical and mental wellbeing) was usurped by one of the now many, many people who were now frequenting the flat upstairs. While this may seem insignificant, this meant that both my physical & mental wellbeing would go on to decline dramatically over the coming days and weeks. In the 72 hours before my arrest I had attempted to access immediate psychiatric help on three separate occasions. Despite being acutely unwell and at significant risk, on all three occasions I was denied this help because there 'wasn't any beds.'
On the day that I was arrested, the police showed up quite quickly, myself and my partner welcomed them in, we showed them CCTV footage of the gentleman who had been kicking the door, several other neighbours came out and told the police police out into the hallway to tell the police that they had witnessed the whole incident and told them all about the antisocial behaviour that had been taking place in the property at the hands of these men. At least three separate neighbours had come forward to ask that these officers remove this man. Then, possibly most surprisingly, my deadbeat, useless landlord appeared out of thin air and he too implored the police to remove him, telling them that "This man (The guy who was squatting upstairs) is nothing but a usurper and an intruder and had no legal right to be on the property" I could have kissed him. I should have felt at least slightly better about this, relieved that everyone was there, imploring the police to put us all out of our misery by sending this man and his band of emaciated, toothless and frightened looking drug-users on their merry way. Sadly, this was not the case. I felt uneasy. Something didn't feel right.
Right from the beginning there was a growing sense of vague contempt from one of the officers present. opening drawers in my kitchen, grabbing at papers on my desk, and poking his head around doors in my home. There was an unmistakable sense of suspicion. The officer was moving in a very shifty fashion, my partner and I exchanged a few worried looks with each other. the officer was whispering to his colleagues and just generally behaving strangely.
This officer then went on to place me under arrest alleging that he had "reason to believe" that I was in possession of a firearm. I was speechless. Both mine and my boyfriends jaws dropped to the floor. Despite my shock, I was compliant and gathered my things. It was at this point that the officer reached out and grabbed my hand, applying such force that there was an audible cracking sound. I had already explained to the officer that I had Brittle Bone disease and that I needed to be careful because what might usually be reasonable force could end up being, in my case with my disability, lethal force. It was after the officers initial grabbing of my hand that my partner began to film.
After the initial incident in my home, I was physically assaulted by the police on several further occasions while in their custody.
on one occasion, when transporting me from the first hospital back to the police station officers picked me up from my wheelchair and physically threw me into the back of a police van after I could not comply with their demands that I get up and walk' into the back of the van. They closed the door of the van as I lay on the floor in the back and proceeded to make their way to the Police station. When they arrived at the police station and opened the back of the police van, they found me lying in the same spot unconscious. I was subsequently taken by ambulance to the resuscitation unit of UCLH hospital. My injuries were reported to the hospital as having been self inflicted and as a result of banging my head against the van cabin walls. This simply wasn't the case.
After this, I was transferred to St Thomas' Hospital, London, where I was treated for multiple injuries to my head, shoulder, wrist/hand and ribs. While in hospital, I went on to have three consecutive seizures due to the head injuries the police had, all the while handcuffed to my hospital bed and under constant police supervision by unto 5 officers at any one time as they looked on watching me violently convulse and vomit over myself as they stood by and did nothing.
I was subsequently released and no charges were brought against me as they were not able to substantiate their allegations. Its fair that this 5 day ordeal has left a lasting mark. Im not even at a stage where I can describe how this has affected me as I am still reeling from this horrific experience. It is clear to me that I am still, at the time of writing this, in the throws of a trauma response. I am lucky enough to have my boyfriend, my dog; Max and my lovely mum to keep me going. Without them, I have no idea how I would be coping. They are completely traumatised. My mum cannot stop crying and my boyfriend has now been started on anti-depressants and sleeping medication. He has never been prescribed any such medication before. Even Max, my dog hasn't been the same since. He too was hurt when he was crushed by my weight as I fell from my wheelchair when the officers tipped me down the step outside of my house as you see in the video.
Im usually very private about my struggles with my physical and mental health issues. Its almost as if I've been living my life
'in the closet' about them. During the periods where I'm struggling with getting around due to my condition, I simply don't post on social media, don't go out of the house and wait until I'm back up on my feet before rejoining the world. Thats because I can get embarrassed or shameful that I am struggle so much. That isn't what I want to show the world. Like anybody else I put on a brave face so that the world thinks I'm doing okay. This experience has taught me that as a young, queer, person of colour I simply don't have the luxury of being in that metaphorical closet any longer.
I need to take a stand against the savage and viscous abuses of power and excessive use of force that I was exposed to during that 5 day ordeal. That is why I have mounted this campaign. As frightening as it is to post this publicly, I feel that I need to scream from the rooftops about what happened to me. At the risk of humiliating myself, the thing that I find most harrowing is this; If the police were so willing to treat me in this way, when it is quite obvious that I am a person who is capable of speaking up for myself, to what horrors do they inflict upon those in their care whom are evidently not able to speak up for themselves?
That question is honestly keeping me up at night presently.
I need to raise funds to mount a legal challenge against the Police. I need to ensure that these people and their apparent lack of humanity is not allowed to fester and bubble for them to continue to maltreat people like me.
I also need urgent specialist psychiatric/psychological input to limit the psychological damage that this awful, awful experience has brought on. Such help is very rarely available on the NHS and waiting lists are ever increasing. Please follow the link below to support my fundraising effort.
With the funds raised here, I hope to at least offset the cost of what is likely to be a very expensive legal battle costing tens of thousands of pounds. Further to that, I need to contain the psychoplogical damage by accessing immediate, specialist psychiatric treatment and therapy.
Please, if you can, donate to my recovery fund.
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Thank-you in advance for your support and compassion.
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