Yesterday, Avon and Somerset police quietly admitted that no officers suffered broken bones during Sunday’s Kill The Bill protest. In a statement posted to their website, the force said: “Thankfully following a full medical assessment of the two officers taken to hospital, neither were found to have suffered confirmed broken bones.”
This is quite an admission given that, in the hours following the riot, the force was telling all and sundry that an officer had been rushed to hospital with a punctured lung after being stamped on by a baying mob, claims that were, of course, uncritically repeated by the likes of the Telegraph and the Times.
Time and again the mainstream media are happy to parrot police lies without questioning their narrative. Turns out no cops suffered broken bones at the #BristolProtest But that didn’t stop this fantasy from being splashed over every major mainstream outlet. #KillTheBill pic.twitter.com/jbUr7SYqAJ
— Emily Apple (@emilyapple) March 24, 2021
Far be it from this newspaper to suggest Avon and Somerset police have been telling porkys but it would certainly not be the first time the police have used wildly exaggerated reports of injuries to justify repressive tactics.
Back in 2008, both ministers and senior coppers claimed that the violent policing of the climate camp protests at Kingsnorth power plant was an appropriate and proporionate response to a dangerous public order situation in which 70 officers were injured. However, papers later acquired by the Liberal Democrats via Freedom of Information requests showed that of the 1,500 officers policing the Kingsnorth climate camp, only 12 suffered reportable injuries, none of which were the responsibility of protestors. Indeed, only 4 of the 12 involved any contact with protesters at all and all were at the lowest level of seriousness with no further action taken. Of the other injuries treated by the police tactical medicine unit at the camp, three were heat exhaustion, three were toothache and six(!) were insect bites. Yes, you read that correctly: insect bites.
Meanwhile, the operation to hunt down those supposedly responsible for Sunday’s violence continues apace. As of midnight Wednesday, Avon and Somerset police have released 18 photos of wanted individuals, using a numbering system that – according to the eagle-eyed copwatchers at ACAB – suggests that they have so far identified a minimum of 39 suspects.
Anyone in the Avon and Somerset area concerned about their current legal situation would be well advised to give Bristol Defendant Solidarity a call on 07510283424
Photo Creidt: Bristol Afed