As we reported in our Coventry newsletter, videos shared on social media show that they were quickly surrounded by police who shouted “come back!” To the crowd as missiles, including bricks and bottles, continued to rain.
Police were called amid reports that the two men were armed with knives and one of them was handcuffed during a search.
However, none of the men were found in possession of a knife and none were arrested. A knife was then recovered from a trash can.
Coventry Police Superintendent Phil Healy has already praised his officers for acting “with great courage” and now West Midlands police have issued a lengthy statement in which the force says, “This type of violence will not be not tolerated in our city and we will take strong action against the offenders. “
Full policy statement
The West Midlands police statement reads: “We are collecting information and video footage of last night’s unrest in downtown Coventry.
“We need the help of the public to establish the complete circumstances surrounding what happened.
“The images we have seen so far show our officers moving to protect two young men who have been the target of a violent attack by a large crowd.
“These officers put themselves in danger – faced with throwing bricks and bottles thrown at them – in order to protect the two men and prevent the situation from escalating.
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“The police were acting on the basis of reports that the two men may have been in possession of a knife or knives. Based on this information, one of the men was handcuffed while they were both searched.
“They were not found in possession of any offensive weapons, they were not arrested, so our officers again escorted them away from the crowd to protect them. ”
“If hate crimes are identified, we will take action against the perpetrators.
“We are going to conduct a thorough investigation into the disorder and claim that the two men were previously armed with a knife. We are also investigating allegations that part of the crowd was in possession of weapons.
“This type of violence will not be tolerated in our city and we will take strong action against the offenders.
“We are working hard to establish exactly what happened and why and we urge anyone with information or video footage who can help us contact us via Live Chat on WMP Online or by calling 101. Please cite the newspaper 2731 of June 9. . ”
Coventry City FC also published a response to the disorder
The club said in a statement, “Coventry City is aware of fan video on Tuesday evening at Broadgate on social media. We have forwarded the reports from these videos to West Midlands police and will be in direct contact with them.
“The CCFC has been clear and long standing in our position against racism and discrimination and our support for Kick It Out – both most clearly illustrated in our two-tone jersey this season – and most recently in the Black Lives Matter campaign.
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“Coventry is a diverse and multicultural city, and we are proud to represent it and all of its residents. ”
Anyone with information or video footage that may assist police investigations is asked to contact Live Chat on WMP Online or by calling 101.
Please cite the newspaper 2731 for June 9.