Officers with suspected broken arm and ribs after ‘Kill The Bill’ protest turns violent

UK – (WARSOOR) – Police came under attack from demonstrators as a rally against plans to increase powers for dealing with peaceful protests spilled over into violence.

The ‘Kill the Bill’ event in Bristol saw a police station attacked, officers suffer broken bones and a number of police vehicles set alight.

What started as a non-violent demonstration in the city centre against the government’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill turned ugly after hundreds of protesters marched from College Green to the New Bridewell police station.

Its windows were smashed using a skateboard while a nearby police van was graffitied and set on fire.

Uniformed officers, carrying riot shields, tackled the blaze.

Police said missiles had been thrown at them, including a firework, and that they had been verbally abused.

Mounted officers were forced to intervene to disperse the large crowd.

The Avon and Somerset Police Federation said a number of officers had been injured and taken to hospital – one with a broken arm and one with broken ribs.

Its chairman Andy Roebuck described the culprits as “a mob of animals,” while Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees said it was “a shameful day in an incredible year for Bristol”.

He added: “Smashing buildings in our city centre, vandalising vehicles, attacking our police will do nothing to lessen the likelihood of the Bill going through.

“Speaking as someone himself – and whose brothers and sisters, along with our poorest communities – would be disproportionately likely to receive injustice, today’s actions do nothing to bring us closer to justice.”

Sky News correspondent Dan Whitehead, at the scene, said a number of protesters remained at the police station and around 500 in total were still on the streets.

He added: “I’m standing next to a whole row of police officers with riot shields, some sprayed with graffiti – words against the police all over their riot shields.

“There’s a lot of smashed glass everywhere, fireworks set off in the street and you can see the smoke rising from the police van that was set on fire outside the police station.

“This is a very serious situation which has resulted in police officers getting injured and the police station’s windows smashed in.”

Mass gatherings are currently banned under the coronavirus legislation and anyone breaching the regulations could be fined.

Many protesters were wearing face masks and carried placards, including slogans such as “say no to UK police state” and “freedom to protest is fundamental to democracy” and “Kill the Bill”.

Mr Roebuck said: “Disgusting scenes in Bristol by a mob of animals who are injuring police officers, members of the public and damaging property.

“Avon and Somerset Police Federation are attending stations to support officers. We have officers with suspected broken arms and ribs. This is so wrong.”

Meanwhile John Apter, national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said the scenes were “horrendous”.

He added: “This is not about protecting the right to protest, it’s violent criminality from a hardcore minority who will hijack any situation for their own aims.

“My colleagues, some of whom are now in hospital, face the brunt of that hatred. Thoughts remain with my colleagues.”

Source: SKY NEWS