Disturbing footage has revealed how police officers violently dragged a father from the bedside of his dying daughter shortly after he’d been told her life support was being withdrawn.
The harrowing film obtained by The Mail on Sunday shows the moment 59 year old Rashid Abbasi was wrenched away from his hospitalised critically ill six-year-old daughter by an officer.
Mr Abbasi had his legs and ankles strapped together and was wheeled away from his daughter on a trolley. His wife Aliya was grabbed from behind, pulled from the bedside and fell backwards on to the floor of the hospital ward screaming.
The disturbing incident took place in a hospital in the North of England that cannot be named for legal reasons.
It came after the parents were involved in a protracted dispute with doctors over the care of their critically ill daughter, Zainab.
The distressing footage shows that, as Mr Abbasi was arrested, a female police officer shouted: “You’re acting like an animal, it’s disgusting.”
Officers repeatedly refused to retrieve emergency medication from his pocket, despite his cries that he was suffering chest pains. Mr Abbasi says he was later told that he had suffered a heart attack and underwent a heart procedure the following day.
Mr Abbasi has begun proceedings to sue police for wrongful arrest.
Following the incident, the NHS trust applied to the High Court for permission to take Zainab off the ventilator, but on September 16 she died.
The hospital said: “When there is a risk to the safety of any of the patients in our care, to relatives, visitors or to our staff – or interference with the delivery of care and treatment – it is necessary for us to seek help from the police. This is never taken lightly. It is essential we maintain a safe and secure environment, particularly where we are caring for very sick and vulnerable patients.”
The police force involved, which cannot be named for legal reasons, said its officers responded to a call “of a man being violent and abusive towards staff and that he had assaulted a consultant.”
They added: “While we recognised this was a very distressing time for him and his family, our duty was to ensure the safety of all those present.”
They confirmed Mr Abbasi was arrested on suspicion of breach of the peace and assaulting police officers, and that one officer was treated in A&E. The force added: “Due to the nature of the incident, it was necessary to detain the man and when he complained of feeling unwell he was taken for treatment as soon as possible.”
The force said they had reviewed the footage and that it “sets out a very different picture to the limited version of events which have been presented to us.”