Skip to main content

Police: Footage reveals hooded rioters firing at officers

By the CNN Wire Staff
Click to play
Police release CCTV riot footage
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Prince William and Catherine visited Birmingham to meet people affected by the riots
  • Police say 11 shots were fired at officers and a force helicopter
  • Police hope members of the public will help them identify those involved
  • The violence came amid widespread disturbances in English cities this month

(CNN) -- Police have released dramatic security camera footage they say shows masked and hooded rioters firing shots at unarmed officers and a police helicopter in the English city of Birmingham.

They hope the public will come forward with information as they investigate the violence that took place amid widespread rioting earlier this month.

The footage shows a group of 30 to 40 young men, dressed in black, in the Newtown area of Birmingham as they attacked a pub late on Tuesday August 9, West Midlands Police said in a statement.

As police tried to disperse the group, petrol bombs were thrown at a police car and shots were fired, police said. Officers believe the rioters intended to set fire to the pub.

Chief Constable Chris Sims said the incident was being treated as attempted murder and arson.

The force has taken the "unusual step" of releasing the footage because of the potential for serious harm to his officers and members of the public, he said.

Will and Catherine visit riot ruins
RELATED TOPICS
  • Riots
  • Birmingham

"Eleven shots were fired at unarmed officers to enable disorder to continue, whilst petrol bombs were also thrown at officers who initially attended the scene," he said.

"This footage shows seemingly co-ordinated criminal behaviour with no regard for people's lives, whether it be through the setting of a fire, shooting at unarmed officers or shooting at the police helicopter."

West Midlands Police have so far arrested more than 500 people over the disturbances in Birmingham and nearby towns, of whom more than 140 have been charged.

On Friday, Prince William and Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge, visited areas of Birmingham affected by the disorder.

They met with residents including a small business owner whose store in central Birmingham was looted, local community leaders and emergency responders.

Among the places they visited was Winson Green, an inner-city area where three young Asian men were killed by a hit-and-run driver amid the disturbances.

Four men have been charged over their deaths and police continue to question other suspects. An eighth man was arrested Friday on suspicion of murder, police said.

Funeral for men killed in UK riot

Part of complete coverage on
Open Story: London riots
CNN and iReport contributors document the riots across the United Kingdom.
Map of riot hotspots
A map pinpoints various hotspots in the United Kingdom that have recently seen violent confrontations.
Riots: Into 'the abyss of anarchy'
The past week in London has been like living in a disaster movie. "Escape from Peckham" would have been an apt title on Monday.
What sparked the riots?
Important questions and answers to the root cause and events surrounding the riots.
Before and after: Riots in London
Several riots in London have left a trail of destruction. Click on a photo to compare some before and after images.
We must reclaim the streets of London
Symeon Brown looks on the riots with despair, saying rioters have no identification with British society and thus nothing to lose.
David Cameron sounding like Mubarak?
David Cameron doesn't look like Hosni Mubarak -- hated scourge of Egyptians. But in making a reflexive call to curtail social media, Cameron sure is sounding a lot like a potentate.
Is social media a force for good?
Post UK riots, the finger of blame was pointed immediately at social media sites like Twitter and Facebook and Blackberry Messenger (BBM).
 
Quick Job Search