I have just read of the ‘not guilty’ verdict after a Metropolitan police sergeant was seen twice striking a woman demonstrator, once with the back of his gloved hand and again with a steel baton. This is the BBC’s report including the video clip: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/8597217.stm
Sitting without a jury after a four-day hearing with additional photographs to look at the judge was satisfied that the sergeant had acted in self defence. She was satisfied on a point of law so that is that.
I don’t have a great deal of sympathy with the way some protesters behave and less so when they sell their stories to the press after hiring media consultants but I find some aspects of this case puzzling based on the video footage, particularly the suggestion that the sergeant had ‘only’ 7 seconds to react having been approached from the side.
Count seven seconds. Anyone who has served in the Forces will know that is a long time to get your head blown off while under attack, especially when the attacker is holding a camera and a drink carton pointing away from you in a threatening manner. Also “he had feared for his safety after becoming isolated from colleagues” even though he was able to retire behind their line afterwards so leaving his colleagues exposed to ‘the threat’.
Obviously we can’t believe what we appear to have seen so now that these actions are considered proportionate perhaps the force can be deployed to sort out the anti-social behaviour yobs that blight the lives of so many.