May 27, 2024

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Met Police: PM horrified by how police treat Jewish man, says No10

Met Police: PM horrified by how police treat Jewish man, says No10

Image source, Campaign against anti-Semitism

Comment on the photo, Police arrested Gideon Walter during a demonstration held on 13 April

  • author, Andre Rodin Paul
  • Role, BBC News

Rishi Sunak was “appalled” by the way police treated a Jewish man during a pro-Palestinian demonstration in London, a Downing Street source said.

The Metropolitan Police apologized twice on Friday after an officer described the head of the Campaign Against Antisemitism (CAA), Gideon Walther, as an “open Jew”.

On April 13, Mr. Walter, who was wearing a hoodie, was threatened with arrest and told by police that his presence was causing a “breach of the peace.” He has called on the Met commissioner to resign.

Matt Twist, Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, wrote to Walther to offer a private meeting “to apologize to him personally and discuss what the Metropolitan Police can do to ensure Jewish Londoners feel safe”.

Mr Walther has also requested a meeting with Met Commissioner Sir Mark Rowley.

Downing Street said the Prime Minister watched the original footage of what happened and was “as appalled as anyone else by the officer's description of Mr Walter as an open Jew”.

The source added that the Metropolitan Police were right to apologise, but also criticized the force for “completely mishandling” the situation as it offered an initial apology, then retracted it and followed it up with a second statement.

“[The prime minister] The Metropolitan Police Commissioner is expected to explain how this happened and what he will do to ensure officers do more to make London's Jewish communities feel safe – and for Sadiq Khan to do his job of holding the Metropolitan Police to account.

New footage also appeared, Recorded by Sky Newswhich shows Mr. Walter telling a police officer that he was trying to cross the road.

The video shows the officer telling Walther that he “took it upon himself” to intentionally walk “in the middle” of the march, and said he was being “deceptive” and was trying to “antagonize” others.

“My view is that you are trying to antagonize things,” the officer told the campaign chairman.

Then Mr. Walter replied: “I'm not, I'm trying to walk along the sidewalk.”

“He is treated like a criminal”

Speaking to BBC News, Walter described the experience as “scary” and made him feel like he was “being treated like a criminal for being Jewish.”

The CAA's chief executive said the Metropolitan Police Commissioner was “limiting the rights of law-abiding Londoners, including the Jewish community, to appease lawless mobs”.

He added: “I think it is time for Sir Mark Rowley to leave.”

“We need a new commissioner who understands that the role of the police is… to enforce the law, and if the law says Londoners are able to go anywhere they want freely, as long as they abide by the law, then that's what they want.” It must be implemented.”

But former Metropolitan Police Chief Superintendent Dal Babu told BBC Breakfast on Monday that the 13-minute clip of the incident showed a “completely different encounter to the one reported by Mr Walther”.

“They offered to take him to a crossing point, and offered to help him and the group he was with have the opportunity to cross to a more suitable place.

“So the narrative that has been promoted over the last few days is not accurate.

“Personally, if I had been patrolling that march, I would have been inclined to arrest him for assaulting a police officer and disturbing the peace.”

Falter told ITV's Good Morning Britain on Monday that his members often attend pro-Palestinian rallies “to force the police to make sure these things are safe for the Jewish people” – and he will attend the following ones.

He said the protests “were so poorly policed ​​that if you were a Jew on the fringes of this, they would have to threaten you with arrest to get rid of you.”

In an updated statement on Sunday evening, the Metropolitan Police said it “will remain focused on doing everything possible to ensure Jewish Londoners feel safe in this city.”

The force said it had invited senior representatives of London's Jewish communities, officials from the Mayor's Office of Policing and Crime, and members of the House of Lords to an “operational planning exercise”.

“This is usually done privately, but recognizing the need to better engage and provide reassurance, we are inviting community leaders to join us,” she added.

“This is complex, but we will continue to seek support and insight from all the voices that can help us deliver the service London deserves.”

“Mistakes that are completely avoidable.”

Home Secretary James Cleverley has written to Sir Mark and the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, asking for an explanation.

A spokesman for the mayor said on Saturday that the Metropolitan Police's handling of the incident was “concerning” and that the force “must have the trust of the communities it serves”.

The Met Commissioner is also expected to meet Police Minister Chris Philp.

Deputy Secretary of State Andrew Mitchell said on Monday that the Metropolitan Police's response was “grossly exaggerated” – but stopped short of calling for Sir Mark's resignation.

Labour's shadow justice secretary told Sky News she did not believe the commissioner should resign.

Shabana Mahmood said she could “understand the strength of feeling” and described the footage as “deeply disturbing”, but she believed the commissioner's resignation was not “the way forward”.

Former Home Secretary Suella Braverman – who called on the Metropolitan Police chief to review the incident – told the BBC Radio 4 program that her complaint was not against individual police officers, but the “overarching failure to combat anti-Semitism and keep peace on Britain's streets”. London during the past six months.

Comment on the photo, A pro-Palestinian demonstration was held in London on 13 April

Scotland Yard has previously apologized twice for the officer's statement.

It said: “Jewish Londoners should feel safe in this city.”

In the original video filmed during the march, the police officer said: “You are openly Jewish, and this is a pro-Palestinian march.

“I'm not accusing you of anything, but I'm worried about the reaction to your presence.”

The Metropolitan Museum has faced criticism over its handling of a series of pro-Palestinian demonstrations since last October, when the Palestinian Hamas movement launched an unprecedented attack on Israel.

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