WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
April 20 2024
WE ARE A MAGAZINE ABOUT LAW AND JUSTICE | AND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE TWO
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Met Police to pay vigil attendee detained overnight

Met Police to pay vigil attendee detained overnight

The Metropolitan Police has agreed to pay £10,000 in damage to a protestor detained overnight following the Sarah Everard Vigil.

During the Vigil in Clapham in March 2021, Edmunds had been detained overnight and charged with breaching Covid-19 lockdown restrictions.  The charges against Edmunds were dropped 15 months after her arrest, and she subsequently sued the force. A settlement has been agreed, where the Met pay £10,000, but have not conceded liability.

On this result, Edmunds said, ‘While I am relieved for this to finally be over, three years after Sarah Everard’s death, and almost three years after I was threatened with criminal charges for exercising my inalienable right to protest her murder, in that time I have also seen the state clamp down yet further on our collective freedom to assemble and demand change.” Edmunds has said that she would split the damages with pro-Palestinian protesters “who have also been victims of police.’

Erica San, solicitor for Edmunds, condemned the Met’s approach, linking it to the institutional misogyny that the Casey Review sought to expose, and calling for urgent reforms. She remarked: ‘The fact that it has taken three years to acknowledge the wrong done to Jeni – as with the many other cases which were brought after the vigil – is a sign of how deeply reluctant the force is to face its pressing need for reform.’

A Met spokesperson said, ‘The officers acted in good faith, interpreting complex and changing legislation in very challenging circumstances… We tried to achieve a balance that recognised the rights of the public to protest and to express their grief and sadness, while also continuing to enforce the relevant Covid legislation.’

The Sarah Everard Vigil, held at London’s Clapham Common in March 2021, was to protest and mourn the kidnap, rape and murder of Everard, 33, by a serving police officer, Wayne Couzens. Originally planned as a socially distanced event, it faced cancellation threats from police, sparking clashes. Arrests ensued, prompting widespread criticism of police tactics