Hundreds of anti-racist protesters gathered outside Lewisham police station yesterday in response to the controversial arrest of a black woman locally.

Activists chanted "black lives matter”, after footage emerged showing six officers pinning down Kamyimsola Olatunjoye, 28, as she shouted “I can’t breathe” on May 9.

Protest leaders called for the officers being investigated over the incident to be suspended, on the same day as thousands marched in central London following the death of George Floyd in the US.

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Harold Wilson, an organiser from Stand Up To Racism South East London, said: “The main reason why we’re gathered here, you’ve all probably seen it, was that five minutes away from here six cops from that place behind you assaulted a black woman despite the fact that she said I can’t breathe.

“We want all the cops involved stripped, we want them removed. They have no place.

“Before we had this pandemic, people said that the only people that counted were bankers with their laptops.

“We know that is a lie; it's nurses, doctors, porters, uber drivers, shelf stackers.

“We make this economy tick. Without us nothing could move. We need a new system, we’ve got to end all this. 

“As Malcolm X said, as long as you have capitalism you will have racism.

“We have to get rid of this. Enough is enough!”

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From around 6pm protestors gathered on the pavement in front of the station, holding placards and banners.

Following speeches from the organisers and volunteer attendees the crowd chanted as passing motorists beeped their horns to show support.

There were no confrontations with police officers, who were dotted around the edge of the crowd.

Despite the organiser reminding protestors to maintain social distance, there was little space between people.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct.  

Ms Olatunjoye, of Alleford Road, Lewisham, was later charged with obstructing a drugs search.

Police say a matter of assaulting an emergency worker was not proceeded with.

She was travelling as a passenger in a car that failed to stop for police, Scotland Yard said.

The driver, Carlton Ireland, 46, of Hither Green, was charged with drink-driving.

A spokesperson for the police said: "Officers on proactive patrol in Lewisham on Saturday, May 9, attempted to stop a vehicle on Lewisham High Street at 11.05pm.

"The vehicle attempted to make off after officers signalled for it to stop. It became blocked and the male driver and female passenger were detained.

"Both were searched under section 23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act and subsequently arrested.

"Police are aware of videos circulating on social media showing the arrest and are liaising with local community groups and forums to discuss any concerns that they might have regarding this incident.

"The matter has since been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct."