By Matthew Roscoe • 15 March 2021 • 13:56
Woman Pinned Down By Police At Vigil For Sarah Everard Says She Was ‘Terrified’.
THE image of a protestor being pinned down by two ‘very large male officers’ during Sarah Everard’s vigil at Clapham Common on Saturday, March 13, has gone viral – sparking fury among the public and leading to calls for Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Dame Cressida Dick, to resign.
Speaking to Susanna Reid and Ben Shephard on Good Morning Britain on March 15, Patsy Stevenson, who went to the vigil to lay a candle and pay her respects to Sarah Everard, said: “I was terrified. I have never been so scared honestly.
“I think what was scary as well was as soon as I was pinned to the ground, I looked up and there were cameras everywhere. I was like, ‘oh my God, this is big’.
“I didn’t realise they had even pinned me to the ground for a second. It just like happened so fast and then I was on the ground. I was like, I am on the ground, I am very small. I wasn’t resisting or anything.”
Stevenson told the GMB hosts that the vigil ‘wasn’t massively packed’ and accused police of ‘aggressively talking to the women’.
However, she went on to stress that she is not anti-police, adding: “I fully understand that police have to do their job. Do you know what I mean?
“I am not against police… but you know the organisers were trying to get it so that the police were involved in a safe way and make sure everyone was maintaining social distance.
“All we wanted was that women were able to mourn and share each other’s company in a safe space and it wasn’t allowed to go ahead. I think people were angry with that.
“When it came out that we weren’t allowed to, a lot of people were like, ‘We are going because we are going to make it safe.’ We did intend for a safe vigil.”
Stevenson said she was released quickly following her arrest and ordered to pay a £200 fine.
She said: “I appreciate a lot of people have said they will pay for [the fine], I appreciate that fully but I put myself in that position and that comes down to me.”
After the event, London Mayor Sadiq Khan called for a “full, independent” probe into the policing at the vigil in memory of Sarah Everard.
Mr Khan said officers’ behaviour was “completely unacceptable”.
Speaking on Sunday, March 14, Mr Khan said: “I will now be asking Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary [HMIC] to conduct a full independent investigation of events yesterday evening and in previous days. I am also asking the Independent Office for Police Conduct [IOPC] to investigate the actions of police officers.”
He added: “It is vital that these events are not allowed to undermine the powerful calls since Sarah’s murder for meaningful action to finally stop men inflicting violence on women.
“It was clear before yesterday that there isn’t adequate trust and confidence from women and girls in the police and criminal justice system more widely.
“Further steps must now be taken to address this.”
In related news, the UK Government’s proposed new Policing Bill has come under heavy criticism, with leading from the SNP and UK Labour stating that they will vote against it.
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Originally from the UK, Matthew is based on the Costa Blanca and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news. Got a news story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]
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