Teenager given referral order for police attack
A 13-year-old boy who kicked two police officers during an alleged group attack which was filmed and shared on social media has been handed a referral order.
The teenager kicked and shouted at Police Constables Andrew Macpherson and Reem Ali in an incident in Hackney, East London, which received “nationwide media coverage”, according to prosecutor Varinder Hayre.
The youth, who cannot be named for legal reasons, apologised for his actions and said he had “acted impulsively” after witnessing coverage of events in the US regarding the killing of George Floyd.
He was sentenced to a nine-month referral order at Stratford Youth Court on Wednesday after pleading guilty at an earlier date to two charges of assault on an emergency worker.
The court heard that, on June 10, the two police officers were dealing with an incident in Frampton Park Road, Hackney, in which the 13-year-old became involved and began filming.
He kicked out at PC Macpherson, who suffered a graze to the elbow and muscle soreness, and also kicked PC Ali in the back of her knee.
Ms Hayre said the teenager shouted “black lives matter” during the incident, and told PC Ali she should be “ashamed” of herself when she began helping her colleague, who was on the ground.
When PC Ali began to respond to him, the youngster shouted: “Don’t chat to me like that, do you understand. Don’t ever f****** chat to me like that.”
The defendant, who was accompanied to court by his parents, was arrested after another police officer recognised him in the footage.
Stephen McCabe, defending, said the boy had “acted impulsively”, telling the court: “He lost the ability to think clearly and acted in this way.
“He thought something he had seen with George Floyd was going to happen.
“He was watching the events in America and I think this is what flashed through his mind when he saw the incident he got involved with.”
Mr McCabe handed a letter to the bench on behalf of the teenager, who verbally told the court he was sorry for his actions, adding: “I was being a bit selfish at the time. It’s hard to be a police officer.”
Footage of the incident was posted on social media, which appeared to show an officer pinned down on the ground and being kicked while his female colleague was pushed as she tried to intervene.
Home Secretary Priti Patel and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan were among those to publicly condemn the incident.
Reading PC Ali’s victim statement, Ms Hayre said that, despite feeling “emotional and shaken”, the officer felt “very lucky” not to be seriously injured.
PC Ali said she was “not shocked” by the boy’s actions, saying: “Many teens now just want five minutes of fame and perhaps he got the fame he wanted.
“If something horrible had happened to my colleague that day I would have not been able to live with myself.”
She added: “I agree that black lives matter, but so does mine and my colleague’s.”
In a victim statement read to the court on behalf of PC Macpherson, he said: “They decided to assault police officers without any context or knowledge of what was going on beforehand.
“It’s sad that society has become skewed in its view of policing.”
Chair of the bench Sharon Higgins, sentencing, said it was a “serious offence”, telling the boy: “But we do feel that, as a 13-year-old, this has been a wake-up call for you.
“We understand that your feelings at the time were heightened by the US and the Black Lives Matter movement at the time.”
The boy was also instructed to pay £307 in costs, including £100 compensation to each police officer.