Officer who shouted ‘Free Palestine’ while policing Gaza rally is under investigation

Footage shows policewoman hugging a protester


The Metropolitan Police Directorate of Professional Standards is investigating the case of a serving policewoman who was filmed shouting “Free Palestine” during last weekend’s Gaza demonstration and protest in central London.
The policewoman, whose badge number can clearly be seen in the film, is shown talking to a young Muslim woman, and then hugging her. She appears to tell the woman that she is from Iran, and that “If I wasn’t wearing this uniform…” Another demonstrator, out of shot, says: “You should be joining us!” As the woman walks away the policewoman raises one arm and shouts — to cheers from the crowd — “Free, free Palestine!”
When the film went viral, another police officer, Andrew Shaw, tweeted: “As a serving officer I’m appalled at my colleague’s lack of awareness of how her actions will be viewed”. 
Initially, the Met commented: “We are reviewing this footage…  We police hundreds of events and protests every year and officers must remain independent and impartial in carrying out their duties”.
A later statement said: “While officers are encouraged to positively engage with those attending demonstrations, they know they are not to actively participate or adopt political positions. 
“This is vital to ensuring the public have confidence in our officers”. 

Now the matter has been referred to the Standards Directorate. An investigation is being carried out and will “determine what further action is appropriate”.
Among those complaining to the Metropolitan Police was Councillor Susan Hall, leader of the Conservative group on the Greater London Assembly. She said: “The police are supposed to be neutral — this is not good enough. Please investigate, the officer is recognisable”. 

Share via

Want more from the JC?

To continue reading, we just need a few details...

Want more from
the JC?

To continue reading, we just
need a few details...

Get the best news and views from across the Jewish world Get subscriber-only offers from our partners Subscribe to get access to our e-paper and archive