Police officer under investigation for chanting ‘Free Palestine’ at protest

A Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officer is being investigated by a professional standards team after being filmed chanting “Free Palestine” during a demonstration.

May 18, 2021
By Tony Thompson
A still from social media footage of the officer at the demonstration.

Clips of the female officer were posted on Twitter, with users questioning whether she should have been expressing political views while on duty.

A spokesperson for the MPS said that the force’s internal Directorate of Professional Standards is investigating what happened: “We are aware of a video that has been posted on social media which shows an officer joining in with chanting while on duty at a demonstration. While officers are encouraged to positively engage with those attending demonstrations, they know they are not to actively participate or adopt political positions. This is vital to ensuring the public have confidence in our officers.

“The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and are investigating the full circumstances of this incident and to determine what further action is appropriate.”

The MPS said it was also reviewing a separate video initially posted on TikTok, thought to show a traffic officer filming a convoy attending the protest.

After handing the phone to one of the drivers, the officer is then shaking hands with him.

The spokesperson added: “We are aware of a video that has been posted on social media which shows an officer interacting with the occupants of a car that was part of a demonstration. A review is being conducted to establish the full circumstances of the incident and to determine what further action, if any, is appropriate.”

A post on the Twitter account @MPSEvents in response to the footage of the female officer stressed that officers must remain “impartial” while on duty at protests.

It said: “We police hundreds of public events and protests in London every year and officers must remain independent and impartial in carrying out their duties.”

The incident echoes controversy that erupted last summer when some officers were seen taking the knee in a gesture of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters.

MPS Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said afterwards that officers should not take such action while on duty.

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