Police Federation Chief Ken Marsh believes a peaceful event was “hijacked” by Antifa, BLM and Extinction Rebellion demonstraters.
Last week, the Sarah Everard Vigil caused a serious disturbance in London, with protestors becoming agitated and turning their anger on the statue of Winston Churchill, which was later defended by police.
The protestors hurled angry chants at the police, such as “no justice, no peace, f*** the police”, and some took to vandalising police vans. “ACAB” (an acronym of “All Cops Are Bas*****”) was spray-painted onto one police van. These phrases were commonplace amongst Black Lives Matter protests throughout the country during the summer.
The protest has sparked a response from a variety of sources who came forward after the protest, which took place last Saturday, to explain what happened and what they believe the ramifications are.
Mr Marsh told The Telegraph: “Twenty-six of my colleagues were abused, spat at, or punched.” He also stated that: “One black female officer was racially abused. An individual was arrested. This is unfortunately what happens with things like this. They get hijacked.”
Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith also reported that a female police officer came to him and explained what happened to her at the protest. He told the House of Commons: “She was threatened. She was told she should have been murdered, not Sarah Everard, and she was manhandled.”
A senior Met source, in contact with The Daily Mail, said he believed that what had started as a vigil became a protest. This has led to a rise in concern over the wider politicisation of the police.
In this regard, the Met source stated: “There is a real discomfort at what we feel has been the politicisation of the police. We don’t always get it right, but we must be allowed to be operationally independent.”