The Metropolitan Police Federation has released a statement after a social media post showing an injured motorist went viral on Instagram.
On Monday, 13th September, officers pulled over a vehicle to speak to the driver about a broken brake light.
But during the encounter, a struggle ensued during which a police officer was injured in the eye. There are reports that the make driver immediately became aggressive towards the officers.
Pictures of the driver were shared on social media by the driver’s daughter, which showed the 70-year-old male with facial injuries.
A spokesperson for the Met said:
“After exiting the vehicle, the driver became involved in a struggle with an officer during which the officer sustained an injury to his eye.
“The driver, a 70-year-old man, was arrested on suspicion of assaulting an emergency worker.
“He sustained a facial injury during the struggle and was given first aid by officers before being transported to a south London hospital.
“He was later discharged from hospital before being taken to a police station from where he was released under investigation.”
Ken Marsh, Chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said:
“Yet again colleagues in the Metropolitan Police are being subjected to trial by Social Media – and subsequently traditional media – based on unsubstantiated and frankly false allegations.
“This time based on an incident in Bromley.
“Police officers have no issue with being held accountable for their actions – we are the most accountable of public services and we look forward to the Independent Office for Police Conduct bringing this matter to a swift conclusion.
“The team from the Metropolitan Police Federation have witnessed the body worn footage of this latest incident in question. We can say we will be robustly defending the actions of these officers and are supporting them at this time.
“These police officers acted incredibly professionally, despite coming under attack.”
The incident comes after Home Secretary Priti Patel said that she backs police forces releasing body-worn camera footage more quickly to combat one-sided accounts of incidents that lead to ‘trial by social media’.
Ken added: “Enough is enough. We can’t keep carrying on letting policing – and our brave police officers – get vilified in the media when they have done nothing wrong. Especially when we have the means to swiftly disprove such false and damaging allegations.
“All our colleagues are wearing body worn video. We have nothing to hide.
“Let’s get this footage out there and show the reality of the abuse and the dangers our colleagues face all across London as we keep people safe.
“There are always two sides to every story.
“And yet when it comes to the actions of police officers – and in particular video footage of the difficult work we do being put into the public domain – we only see and hear about one side. That of the public – usually with a, frankly, anti-police agenda.
“How can it be right or fair for police officers to be put on trial by Social Media?
“It does damage to policing and to the individual officers concerned and can lead to social tension, which in the current climate is highly irresponsible.
“All the while, our colleagues are expected to sit back and shoulder the abuse and defamatory comments with no redress.
“The Metropolitan Police Federation has consistently called for the prompt release of officer’s body worn camera footage. Let’s release the footage now – that would soon end much of the nonsense we see on our screens and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
“And let’s do it now. We are transparent. We have nothing to hide.”
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