A 45-year-old shopkeeper in Peckham, south-east London, was questioned by police after a video of an argument at his shop went viral on the internet and sparked protests. The video, which was recorded on Monday, showed a black woman hitting a man with a shopping basket while he appeared to be choking her. The footage angered people in the area, who objected to the man’s actions. The man has been interviewed under caution, which means that he has not been arrested but is still under investigation. The woman has also been interviewed by the police. The police are still investigating the incident and have not yet made any arrests.
According to the BBC, hundreds of people gathered to protest outside Peckham Hair and Cosmetics, in Rye Lane, on Tuesday, where the woman had been accused of theft. Chants of “you touch one, you touch all” were heard, and signs were held saying “keep your hands off black women”.
The shopkeeper said that the footage had been viewed “out of context”. He said the footage on social media was “cropped” and did not show the whole incident in full. The shop remains closed and shuttered.
Context: A Black woman in Peckham was refused a refund for hair extensions and went to take something as a personal compensation.
She was refused exit and started violently hitting the shop owner before he proceeded to STRANGLE her. pic.twitter.com/OEYZinoAOH
— ᴼᴹᴳ ᶥᵗˢ Adàeze (@nubianbarbieeee) September 12, 2023
Speaking to the BBC, the shopkeeper said the woman had become aggressive when she was refused a refund on products she had previously bought at the store.
“We do not give refunds; we exchange items or give a credit note. So she grabbed some stuff [three packs of hair with a total value of 24 pounds] from the shelf and tried to leave. She was leaving, and I was stopping her.
“I was stopping her. She slapped me in the face, grabbed a shopping basket, and hit me on the head. I don’t know when my hand goes around her neck. I was keeping her neutralised. I did not hit her.
“The video was cropped. People are acting on the half truth”.