LONDON’S Metropolitan Police suspended a sergeant yesterday after video footage showed him lashing out at a woman in a demonstration during the G20 summit in the city.
The footage, aired on the website YouTube, showed a protester taunting an officer, who appeared to retaliate by striking her across the face with his hand.
It is the second instance of apparent police violence during the G20 summit to be caught on camera and prompted criticism of the way police operated during protests when global leaders met at the start of this month . One man died after collapsing during the anti-capitalist demonstrations.
Amid criticism from politicians and civil rights groups, London’s police chief has ordered a review of public order policing tactics, especially the use of “kettling”, where protesters are herded by officers into a confined space.
“I want to be reassured that the use of this tactic remains appropriate and proportionate,” said Paul Stephenson.
“Separately, I have already expressed my concern that the video footage of some police actions are clearly disturbing and should be thoroughly investigated.”
He said police footage would also be scrutinised to check if there had been other incidents involving individual officers.
The latest film to emerge, filmed close to the Bank of England on April 2, appeared to show anofficer drawing his baton and hitting the woman on the legs after he had struck her face.
Police said the officer was a sergeant in the Territorial Support Group, a team trained to deal with public order events and potential violence, and described the video as showing a “police officer using force against a protester”.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved