Shocking footage of an attack on a police officer in north London has been described as “sickening” after circulating online.
Video shows the officer struggling on the ground with a man in Frampton Park Road in Hackney before others get involved.
The officer is then kicked and punched before another man appears brandishing a baseball bat.
Passers-by started filming and taking selfies as the struggle continued.
A female officer attempted to keep people away from the scene and also suffered injuries before more officers arrived and arrested two men involved.
The men, aged 20 and 38, were arrested on suspicion of assault on police.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said the attack was “sickening, shocking and disgraceful”.
“My thoughts are with the outstanding officers who were subject to this disgusting violent attack,” she said.
Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said police were not “society’s punchbags”.
“Yet again this starkly shows the dangers (officers) face and the bravery they show each and every day keeping Londoners safe,” he said.
“We are. We have families we want to go home to at the end of every shift, but the dangers are stark and seemingly escalating.”
National chair of the Police Federation, John Apter, said the scenes were “stomach-churning”.
“How dare people stand by and video my colleagues in distress?,” he said.
The footage comes in light of mass protests across the UK sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of a white police officer in the US.
Thousands have turned out to rally in London, Manchester and other major cities, with statues toppled or set for review as the UK grapples with its history of slave trading and colonialism.
The struggle caught on film came about after the officers were flagged down by a member of the public who reported an assault.
Police said the victim pointed out their attacker and officers went to speak to those involved.
A police spokesman said: “As an officer attempted to speak with those involved, one of the men resisted and a struggle ensued. A number of other people became involved while the officer was on the ground.”
Hackney’s police commander, Marcus Barnett, said the attack was “truly despicable”.
“Society should never accept such behaviour – we are here to protect you,” he said.
“The officers are safe, but clearly shaken and incredibly brave too. Arrests will be made … this must stop.”
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said he utterly condemned the disgraceful attack.
“These brave officers were doing their duty and assisting the public. We owe them a debt of gratitude.”