London police have completed an internal review after a violent confrontation between a woman and two officers outside a mall left the woman with her eye swollen shut and multiple charges against her.
“While it is unfortunate that Ms. Soyemi was injured in this interaction, I am confident that the police response at the scene was appropriate and in accordance with police training,” said Chief Steve Williams, in a statement released Tuesday.
Last week, Sarah Soyemi described how she was selling detox tea outside White Oaks Mall on May 10, when an officer grabbed her without explanation and another officer punched her, leaving her with a black eye.
The 36-year-old took to social media and posted a video on TikTok describing the event, which has since been viewed and shared thousands of times.
Police called for a review soon after.
In a release issued on May 11, police said they were responding to a situation after Soyemi, who was previously banned from the property, refused to leave despite being asked.
When the officer told Soyemi she was being arrested for trespassing, she resisted arrest and became combative and continued to assault the officer, police said.
Williams said there were numerous independent witnesses to the incident, and the arrest was also caught on video.
“I would like to add my personal thanks to those citizens who provided aid at the scene, as well as those who called 9-1-1 for additional police assistance,” he added.
“The matter remains before the courts and the LPS will not be commenting further. I continue to ask that people withhold speculation or judgment until the facts of the matter are presented in Court.”
Soyemi is scheduled to appear in court on Aug. 2. She is charged with failing to leave the premises when directed, resisting arrest and assaulting a peace officer.
Soyemi has also started a GoFundMe page to raise funds for surgery to restore her distorted vision, which happened as a result of the incident.