Police issue images of people wanted for questioning after BLM protest

Police issue 12 new CCTV images of people they want to question after violence surrounding Black Lives Matter demos in London earlier this month

  • Police have released images of further 12 people they want to speak to in connection with violence at protests
  • Clashes broke out in London this month at demonstrations in support of the Black Lives Matter movement 
  • Metropolitan Police said they are seeking people in relation to a number of violent public order offences 
  • Commander Alex Murray described the behaviour of those pictured as ‘abhorrent’ and ‘highly offensive’

Police have released a further 12 CCTV images of people they want to speak to in relation to violent clashes in London this month. 

Violence broke out over recent weeks between Black Lives Matter protesters and people claiming to be protecting statues in the capital. 

The latest pictures from the Metropolitan Police feature people who are believed to have engaged in racial abuse and serious violence against members of the public and police officers. 

Commander Alex Murray described the behaviour of those in the images as ‘abhorrent’ and ‘highly offensive’.  

The appeal for information on 12 individuals today comes in addition to the 48 others, who have been pictured by the Metropolitan Police over the last three days.

Undated handout comp photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of persons police wish to speak to following the violent clashes in London during recent demonstrations. Issued Sunday June 21

Detectives have been analysing hours of CCTV, body worn video from officers and footage which has been widely circulated on social media to ensure those who committed offences are identified and are brought to justice, the Met said. 

Commander Murray has since confirmed members of the public had already helped to identify people from the images.   

He said: ‘Our investigation into the various acts of violence, racial abuse and disorder by a small minority of those attending protests in London in recent weeks continues and we’re releasing a further 12 images today of people we would like to identify in relation to this.

‘These images are in addition to the 48 we have already released over the past few days. We have already seen a really positive response from the public, which is helping us with our enquiries to identify those who were involved, so that they can be brought to justice.’ 

Police fight to maintain control in Trafalgar Square amid both Black Lives Matter and pro-statue protests in London last weekend. There is no suggestion those pictured here and below are wanted by police

A man identified as a far-right protester was carried to safety from protesters as animosity was briefly set aside on a day of clashes in London between rival groups and police

Pictures also caught the moment another white counter-protester was left with a bloodied face after being hit during a scuffle with protesters

Commander Murray said: ‘The vast majority of people who have attended the recent protests made their voices heard, and then left. However, a minority have attended with the sole purpose of attacking, abusing or violently confronting fellow protesters, detracting from the cause of their protest.

‘We saw violence against police officers including verbal and racial abuse which is absolutely appalling. They do not come to work to be subjected to this. They come to work to keep Londoners and their families safe. Similarly, those people who wanted to have their voices heard and protest should not be subject to violence from others.

‘Whilst investigations are underway to identify those we suspect of being involved in these offences, we ask members of the public to make it clear that they also will not tolerate such behaviour by helping us to identify these individuals and report anyone they recognise in the pictures.

‘Thank you to those who have already helped to identify people from the images – your help is having a real and positive effect on our investigation. Thank you also to those people who have actively challenged other protesters to stop them being violent and abusive.’ 

Black Lives Matter protests erupted worldwide following the death of George Floyd, 46, who died after police officer Derek Chauvin put his knee on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25 for nine minutes.

Demonstrators flooded the streets across Britain in protests against racial injustice and police brutality.

While many protests remained peaceful, police and demonstrators were pictured suffering injuries during brawls at demonstrations. 

Police armed with shields and riot gear reinforced the blockade on Whitehall as louts rushed up the police line

Images released by police earlier this week of 13 people they want to speak to in connection with violence at protests in London this month

Ministers are believed to be considering sentences of up to 10 years for the worst offenders, after the Cenotaph and a statue of wartime leader Winston Churchill were targeted by Black Lives Matter protesters

Activists, some wearing face coverings or face masks as a precautionary measure against COVID-19, hold placards as they attend a Black Lives Matter protest march to Trafalgar Square in London on June 12.

Statues and monuments to controversial figures from Britain’s imperial past have become the focal point of many demonstrations since a statue of 17th century slave trader Edward Colston was torn down in Bristol and dumped in the harbour.

Several hundred demonstrators, mostly white men, attended a protest organised by far-right groups, including Britain First, last weekend, claiming they wanted to protect statues such as Winston Churchill from vandalism.

But fights erupted in areas near the Houses of Parliament and Trafalgar Square as demonstrators repeatedly hounded police officers with foul-mouthed chants and missiles, smoke grenades and flares. 

Following the violent clashes, Black Lives Matter protestors and some counter protestors headed over the River Thames towards Waterloo Station.

Far right thugs have been accused of being the instigators of the violence by attacking police as well as BLM supporters, who then fought back as the scene descended into violence.

After the violent incidents, the Prime Minister said protesters desecrating war memorials will face tough new laws and warned that attacks on public property will be ‘met with the full force of the law’. 

Additionally, a far-right protester was jailed for 14 days for urinating next to a memorial to police officer Keith Palmer killed in a terror attack on Parliament, while at a demo ostensibly trying to protect statues. 

A man was seen urinating next to a plaque honouring PC Keith Palmer who was stabbed to death during a terrorist attack in Westminster in 2017

Mr Johnson also insisted he is a ‘huge admirer’ of one of his aides who has previously questioned the existence of institutional racism and hit out at a ‘culture of grievance’ among anti-racism campaigners. 

Anyone with information about the images can contact the investigation team on 020 8246 9386 or Tweet @MetCC on Twitter. 

Alternatively, they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. 

Those with footage of the violent clashes which could assist detectives in the police investigation are urged to send it to officers by visiting: ukpoliceimageappeal.co.uk.

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