Bring the Met to Heel!

What, more you cry? Well yes, because you need to keep having the evidence shoved in your face to realise just how badly out of control the Metropolitan Police now is. This is a video showing the attack on the Climate Camp protesters by the Territorial Support Group (TSG) riot officers on 1st April:

The bits you’re looking for are at 4:50 and 7:50, and you must remember that this is an attack on protesters who were there legally and 100% peacefully. For some reason people seem to overlook those two rather fundamentally important variables, but in our society you simply can’t. For police violence to be acceptable it must be proportionate – you tell me who’s behaving within the law in that video and who isn’t. The Times runs us through the two principal assaults in the video:

It (4:50) is the moment when an unidentified riot squad officer, his face half-hidden by a black balaclava and visored helmet, was filmed using a round shield to “punch” Alex Cinnane on the left temple.

The video shows the 24-year-old IT technician from London facing away from his assailant, stationary and appearing to offer no physical threat to the police officers surrounding him. His mouth opens in pain as the shield strikes.

“I had turned around to go to someone who was screaming because they were being crushed when he reached out and hit me on my forehead with his shield,” said Cinnane last night. “I was in shock. I had to sit down and felt concussed and nauseous for over an hour. Where he hit me came up in a lump of broken skin.”

Then:

A second video (7:50) shows another riot squad officer delivering a powerful right hook to an unidentified male demonstrator’s jaw as a crowd retreats from an advancing police line. The protester’s head jerks backwards as the punch lands.

Since when were we a nation which policed peaceful protest with violence? Maybe a Met apologist can explain that to me. I thought the police was there to protect our rights and uphold the law, not to enforce their own petty prejudices and attitudes. Something is fundamentally wrong here, and I would take any promise from senior Met officers that things will improve as the lie it will certainly be – as Chris Huhne points out later in the next article, they have made promises about their behaviour before, yet the force is now largely unsuccessful at self-policing. Nick Hardwick, the Chair of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) made clear:

his concerns about incidences of officers disguising their identifying numbers, which should always be displayed on the shoulders of their uniforms, arguing that colleagues should have reported such wrongdoing.

“I think that raises serious concerns about the frontline supervision,” Hardwick said. “Why was that happening, why did the supervisor not stop them? What does that say about what your state of mind is? You were expecting trouble?

“I think that is unacceptable. It is about being servants, not masters: the police are there as public servants.

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2 responses to “Bring the Met to Heel!

  1. I think someone’s doomed here on the police side – the Mail ran this very same video on their website today!

  2. We need to keep this in the public eye until something is done.

    As the head of the IPCC said, the police need to remember that they are “the servants not the masters”.

    This cannot be allowed to continue.

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