Activists gathered outside a Bromley court in support of a black woman arrested in controversial circumstances as she made an appearance yesterday.

Kamiyimsola Olatunjoye, 28, is charged with obstructing a drugs search, after footage of her arrest by six officers on May 9 in Lewisham sparked an outcry.

In the latest in a series of protests, activists assembled outside Bromley Magistrates Court, highlighting the disproportionate treatment of black people in police custody. 

Cheryl McLeod, chair of Lewisham Trade Union Council, said: "There have been 1741 deaths in police custody in England and Wales since 1990.

"We in the black community are know the racism we face from the police hence are apprehension when we are detained we do not know if we will see our loved ones again; a third of victims that die in police custody are from Black or other minoritised communities, despite only accounting for 14% of the wider population.

"The proportion of Black and minoritised deaths where restraint and use of force are features is over two times greater than for other deaths in custody.

"Racism is a race without a finish line.

"We are sending this solidarity message today to Kamyinsola to say we have seen what happened, we do not agree with how she was restrained and we are here to support you."

Anti-racist protest after arrest of black woman in Lewisham

Footage has been shared widely of six police officers pinning down Kamyimsola Olatunjoye, 28, as she shouted "I can't breathe".

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has confirmed an investigation into her arrest and "subsequent treatment in custody" is taking place.

Ms Olatunjoye, of Alleford Road, Lewisham, 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.

The Mayor of Lewisham recently added to criticism of police, who he described as using “excessive force”.

Protestors also drew attention to the detainment of an off-duty ambulance driver in Deptford, who was cuffed for a drug search on May 21.

Met accused of racism as Deptford ambulance driver cuffed

Footage emerged of a white female officer approaching a man in the courtyard of Gilbert House, asking him what he is doing, to which he replies "just chilling, getting some fresh air."

Claiming to have 'intel' about drug dealing in the area, she informs him he is being detained for a drugs search, quickly grabbing and handcuffing his arm.

Critics says the man appears to have been unfairly profiled and that the officer's conduct was disproportionate, given the man's calm and co-operative manner.