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Reality of Police Brutality- Just a formality

A Manchester United fan has accused Italian police of snatching her digital camera to prevent her filming scenes of brutality in the Stadio Olimpico last night.

Carla Lyes, a 23-year-old Red Devils supporter from Rusholme in South Manchester was part of the 4,000 strong travelling contingent at United's 2-1 Champions League defeat to AS Roma.

Lyes needed medical treatment for a wrist injury sustained as police seized her camera as she was filming an eye-witness account of the trouble which flared towards the end of the first-half.

She claims police were continuing to strike supporters with batons even after they were on the ground covered in blood. And one fan was also struck despite apparently being unconcious.

"The police clearly did not want me to film what they were doing," said Lyes.

"It was awful. Even when I was getting treatment for my injuries supporters were still getting hit on the concourse below.

"One fan had blood pouring from his head and another was unconcious but the police kept on wading in.

"I was screaming and shouting for them to stop, but they just ignored me. They weren't saying anything, just lashing out in all directions.

"You can tell how rough the police were by the injury I suffered trying to keep hold of my camera. Their tactics were just disgusting."

Eighteen United fans required hospital treatment following trouble that flared inside and outside the stadium.

After a relatively peaceful build-up to the game, fans clashed in the immediate vicinity of the Olympic Stadium, incidents that are believed to have involved the notorious 'Ultras' among the home support.

United have sent official letters to supporters warning of no-go areas and advising fans not to travel to the stadium independently.

Although some ignored these pleas, it was not until Roma opened the scoring through Taddei shortly before half-time that the problem really escalated.

Riot police baton charged United supporters, scattering them in all directions, in response, it is suggested to a potential clash between the two sets of fans.

Greater Manchester Police, whose officers were at the stadium, are yet to offer their verdict on the trouble.

However, UEFA have promised a full investigation, just weeks after United supporters were involved in another ugly incident in Lens during their victory over Lille.

"We will be waiting for the delegate's report and the control and disciplinary body will be looking at the television images to see the dynamics of what actually happened," said UEFA communications director William Gaillard.

"In Italy, the police are in charge of security in the stadium, stewards have nothing to do with it.

"We will also have to see what role Manchester United fans had in the incidents because they had some problems in Lens earlier this year."

United were fined 6,300 by UEFA for the 'improper conduct' of their supporters at the Stade Felix-Bollaert, while Lille suffered a 42,000 penalty for a range of offences.

Given the severity of last night's incident, the Old Trafford outfit can brace themselves for another financial punishment, although until all the facts have been established, it is difficult to apportion blame.

"Italian law says police are responsible for public order inside stadiums," added Gaillard.

"Stadia in Italy are municipal stadiums, they are not the property of the club.

"We are definitely in favour of soft policing, which is clearly the use of stewards who we know can handle a difficult situation probably better than riot police.

"We are subject to the law so we cannot tell the Italians and other countries where police are in charge of public order in stadia not to enter stadia.

"We are just a football authority, not a law and order authority."

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Added: Apr-7-2007 
By: aliveleak
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