Dom Bardill has produced a video looking at the case of the 13 y/o girl, who is the daughter of one the mothers who is involved in the Fighting For Justice campaign, who was arrested yesterday while on the Yellow Vest protest.
He says that she will have been arrested under Section 89 of the Police Act (1996) which makes it an offence to assault a police officer in the execution of their duty. Although this is a vague term, it is usually taken to mean doing their job within the confines of the law.
Firstly, an assault would have to be present for the case against the girl to be made successfully. This can include the officer reasonably feeling that they are about to be physically attacked.
Although the girl could be said to be preventing the officer exercising his duty by standing in front of him, Bardill points out that this is NOT the point that she is arrested. It is only when “she decides to make big moves away” from the officer that he then decides an offence has been committed. He argues that the video of the arrest shows the girl being taken into custody for pulling away from the officer, which Bardill says she is allowed to do: “It is not possible to argue that she assaulted him by pulling away. That is the opposite of an assault.”
As a movement, we are entering a potentially dangerous phase and we have to expect that heavy-handed policing will potentially become the norm. We have to make a decision now not to accept that and demand that the police remain upholders of the law and not become a law unto themselves.