Police under fire for ‘assault’ of journalist at Bristol protest
Police have come under fire for their treatment of a reporter at demonstrations in Bristol on Friday night, during violent clashes between officers and protesters.
Daily Mirror journalist Matthew Dresch shared video footage that appeared to show police pushing him and hitting him with a baton as he shouted that he was a member of the press.
“Police assaulted me at the Bristol protest even though I told them I was from the press. I was respectfully observing what was happening and posed no threat to any of the officers,” he said.
Twitter users described the incident as outrageous and appalling.
Avon and Somerset police tweeted: “We’re aware of a video showing a journalist being confronted by officers during last night’s protest in Bristol. We’re making efforts to contact him. A free press is a cornerstone of our democracy a we fully respect the media’s vital role in reporting events fairly & accurately.”
Labour MP Nadia Whittome called for an investigation into the policing of the demonstrations.
“Reports of protesters and journalists injured last night in Bristol. The case for an independent investigation into the policing of the #BristolProtests is clear,” she tweeted.
Two reporters from the Bristol Cable were also reportedly assaulted by police during protests earlier in the week.