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From: The Socialist issue 957, 26 July 2017: Barts health strike: Low pay, no way!

Search site for keywords: Policing - Police - IPCC - Hearing - Transport - Travel - Pensioners - Sheffield - Disabled - Yorkshire - Elderly - South Yorkshire

'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing

Freedom riders protest in Barnsley 20 March photo Phil King, photo Phil King

Freedom riders protest in Barnsley 20 March photo Phil King, photo Phil King   (Click to enlarge)

Sharron Milsom, Sheffield North Socialist Party

Pensioners and disabled people from South Yorkshire Freedom Riders are to travel by coach to York on 31 July to lobby a police misconduct hearing.

The IPCC have directed the British Transport Police to carry out misconduct hearings into the behaviour of four police officers and one PCSO. One of the officers, PC Money, is charged with gross misconduct. It is his hearing which is to start on the 31 July.

The five hearings relate to the events of 23 June 2014 when police waded into a peaceful protest by 'freedom ride' travel pass protesters at Sheffield train station.

Several elderly and disabled protesters were injured and knocked over, with five going to hospital. Two pensioners were arrested for obstructing the police and not having a train ticket.

One, George Arthur, was pushed along the platform before being forced onto a bench. The other was grabbed by five police and security staff who pushed his head down while, bent double, they pushed him along. Several protesters complained to the IPCC of the officers' use of excessive force amounting to assault.

In a witness statement PC Money had used what the IPCC regarded as 'inflammatory language.' He had referred to protesters as being like a 'pack of rabid dogs'.

The gross misconduct hearing is to decide whether he made the account knowing it to be false or deliberately misleading. It will also consider whether the officer carried out his arrest of George Arthur legally and whether excessive force was used.

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