People are calling for the closure of a UK beauty supply store after a viral video showed a staff member restraining a Black woman as she tried to fight him off.
The incident happened at Peckham Hair and Cosmetics, located in London, on Monday, Sept. 11, around 1 p.m., according to a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. In the video, a man grabbed a woman’s neck as they re-entered the store.
The woman — sporting a white T-shirt and leggings and holding multiple packs of hair — hit the man in the head with a green shopping basket. The staff member continued to hold her neck and then put her arms around her back as the woman struggled to escape his grip.
“I’m going to call the police,” a bystander said in the background.
The woman urged the bystander to record the incident and call law enforcement.
“Call the f**king police,” the woman repeated. “This man strangled me! Get the f**k off me!”
It’s unclear what led to this incident based on the video. The social media user who originally shared the video on Instagram said the woman went into the store to request a refund before the physical altercation erupted.
“The woman went to ask them for a refund, and the man who can be seen on video hanging her became aggressive with her, the woman on bad terms left the store and he proceeded to drag her into the store and everything became very murky, this was recorded with the camera of my iPhone,” the eyewitness, user @la_burbuu, wrote in the caption.
The store’s owner, Sohail Sindho, told My London, a news website, that the woman came to the business to ask for a refund on hair she’d purchased, but he informed her that the store doesn’t offer refunds. Sindho claims the woman “started to be disrespectful” when he offered her a store credit instead of returning her money.
“I’m gonna grab the stuff from your shop, and I will see who’s gonna stop me,” Sindho recalled her saying before approaching the door.
The eyewitness said the woman told the store owner, “I want to get what I’m supposed to get for my money,” before trying to leave the shop. Sindho said he then tried to call the police.
“While I was on the phone, I was stopping her from getting out. Then what happened? Like she slapped me on the face. Then, I held her from the back of the neck to keep her from hitting me. She grabbed a basket, then she hit it back and hit it on my eye,” Sindho added.
The store owner said he grabbed the woman by the throat to “neutralize” her.
People gathered in front of the cosmetic store to protest the alleged violence against the woman. Additional video posted by the eyewitness shows people holding up signs, with one saying: “We don’t shop here anymore.” Another said: “You love Black women’s money yet assault us the first chance you get.”
“Shut it down, shut it down!” protesters chanted.
Sayce Holmes-Lewis, an activist and founder of Mentitvity, was also present and filmed the protest. He emphasized that the group came out to support Black women.
According to My London, the Met Police is investigating the incident. The outlet said officers responded to the scene after a report that a woman, identified as a 31-year-old, was trying to steal from the store. Per the report, she was arrested following allegations of assault but was released on bond. Sindho has not been charged.
“We know people will be concerned about a video circulating online of an incident in a shop. Our officers attended on Monday and continue to investigate the full circumstances of what has taken place,” the Met Police said in a statement, per the outlet. “The investigation will include reviewing the actions of everyone involved. I would like to thank people in our local community for remaining calm and giving us the time to conduct a thorough investigation. If you have information that may help us, I would urge you to get in touch.”
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