Monday 15 June 2020
Green Party Councillor Anthony Flynn has said that police must take a consistent approach to protests and demonstrations.
The Belfast City Councillor has written to the NI Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman in reference to differences in the policing approach to the Black Lives Matter protest on Saturday 06 June and a number of others since then, including gatherings at City Hall on Saturday 13 June and in the vicinity of the Chinese Consulate on Tuesday 02 June.
Cllr Anthony Flynn said: “I’m concerned at inconsistencies around the police response to protests and gatherings over the past number of weeks and the impression that differing tactics may create.
“The Black Lives Matter protesters engaged in social distancing yet were met with a firm response from police with numerous fines handed out.
“Since then, police have used a markedly different approach in dealing with protests and demonstrations.
“On Saturday past, we saw a large number of people gather at City Hall following a coordinated call for people to protect monuments.
“The majority of people on Saturday appeared to make little effort to distance from each other. Police officers were present but no fines were issued.
“It’s important that the policing approach is consistent. I appreciate that officers are working through an unprecedented situation, but it’s vital that a two tiered approach doesn’t develop, either real or perceived.”
Cllr Anthony Flynn continued:
“That’s why I’ve written to the NI Policing Board and the Police Ombudsman, asking them to look into this matter.”
Sinead McIvor - 07701 302 498