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Man avoids jail for chasing journalist & flying kicking police during BLM protests in 2020

A man who took a flying kick at a police officer during a protest in 2020 has been handed a suspended sentence following a Met investigation.

Jonathan Daley, of Bradwell Avenue, Dagenham, RM10, appeared at the London Inner Crown Court on Thursday 29 July after admitting a charge of violent disorder during an earlier hearing.

On 3 June last year, the 27-year-old (03.09.1993) had joined a demonstration on Whitehall, near to Derby Gate.

A group of approximately 250 protesters had become hostile to a TV film crew and police officers moved in to help them.

Some of those protesting began throwing items at police officers.

Daley ran up behind one officer who had their back turned and attempted to kick him, narrowly missing.

CCTV footage then captures Daley running ahead of police officers and hiding behind railings, looking to ambush them.

As one officer passes, Daley lunges out and takes a flying kick which hits his upper-thigh.

As the officer fell to the ground, Daley runs off and is seen on social media footage to cheer and celebrate with the crowd.

At court he was handed a 20 month prison sentence suspended for two years.

He was ordered to undertake 100 hours unpaid work, attend a probation and credited programme for 30 days and pay a victim surcharge of £200.

Detective Constable Steve Nicholls from the Met’s Public Order Crime Team, said: 

“It is sickening to see someone treat a police officer with such thuggish behaviour.

Despite being outnumbered, those officers were trying to help a TV film crew who were being subjected to scenes of violence and hostility.

It is deeply worrying to see a crowd of people become so aggressive to police officers.

“Thanks to the excellent CCTV footage on Whitehall, which captured the assault in its entirety, we were able to identify Daley swiftly and arrest him later that day in Parliament Square.

Daley has been spared jail on this occasion, but if he offends again he can be sure to spend many nights behind bars.”

Australian news correspondent Ben Avery and his cameraman Cade Thompson were filming on Whitehall when sections of the mostly peaceful demonstration turned ugly. 

They were mobbed by frenzied youths jostling the crew and disrupting the broadcast while chanting ‘f*** the media!’.

Avery and his team backed off, but the protesters stalked them down the street, ripped the microphone from his hand and hounded them to Parliament Square. 

The largely peaceful rally, inspired by the killing of American George Floyd, had gathered in Hyde Park before marching on Westminster, where some of the crowd turned violent, leading to 13 arrests. 

Clashes with police continued into the night yesterday, including outside Downing Street where supposed protesters tore down barriers.

In the face of a fiery crowd, some constables were pictured kneeling on the floor – an action associated with the Black Lives Matter movement since NFL star Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the US national anthem.

BLM Protests

The Nine News correspondent revealed later he was nursing an injury after taking a flying bottle to the face. 

And he described how his security guard was ‘taking on about 15 people’ as they ‘bolted’ to safety.

He said: ‘We had bottles flying around, at one stage one of the bottles hit me in the face as I was running off. It was pretty scary really.’ 

Avery tweeted last night: ‘Thanks to everyone for your concern after this. Had been a peaceful protest until things took a turn late. 

‘The microphone was pulled from my hand and we were chased down the street by a large group.

‘Big thanks to rock solid cameraman Cade Thompson, our security guard and police.’

Despite attempts to swipe his camera, Thompson managed to send out a live broadcast throughout the frightening episode.

The Nine News clip footage shows Avery reporting on Whitehall, who immediately tells his television anchor back in the studio that ‘there have been some clashes with us’.

He is circled by a group of supposed protesters who try to move in front of the camera while shouting.

Suddenly, the camera spins round as if knocked and one of the mob is seen sprinting through an underpass.

As he backs off, Avery tries to continue the broadcast and says: ‘We’ve been trying to walk away from the danger here, but it’s been following us.’

But the correspondent is cut off as somebody grabs his microphone and tears off, while the security guard is seen trying to hold off the whipped-up crowd.

Some of the mob are heard whooping as the female voice of the television anchor says ‘this just shows how dangerous it is for our reporters’. 

Avery and his cameraman run down the street, past Westminster Tube station and across to the Palace of Westminster.

A masked cyclist appears to take a swipe at Thompson’s camera, but misses.  

The clip finishes with both Avery and Thompson reunited outside the Houses of Parliament where they are shielded by bolstered police forces. 

Describing the saga on Nine News later, Avery said: ‘It felt like there was a police officer for every single protester there at that stage but it didn’t make much difference. 

‘They were just so angry and they were so after us at that stage that even one of police said to me there is not much they could do.’

It came just hours after another Australian reporter was attacked while covering the George Floyd protests. 

Sophie Walsh, 34, said she couldn’t shake the realisation the attack happened on the three-year anniversary of the London Bridge terror attack, which left eight people stabbed to death and another 48 injured.

Arrested

Walsh tweeted today: ‘Thank you to the Met Police who have now charged the man from yesterday with assault, carrying an offensive weapon and drug possession. 

‘He’s been remanded in custody and will appear via video link in court today.’ 

Today, Scotland Yard reacted to scenes of their officers kneeling in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement.

A spokesperson said: ‘We know passions are running high and like everyone we were appalled by the images of George Floyd losing his life. 

‘Our officers are part of the communities of London and care deeply about justice and equality.

Taking the knee is a personal decision and should individual officers at their own discretion, where it was safe to do so, and is doesn’t interfere with their operational duties, decide to kneel on one knee with Londoners they are free to do so.’

George Floyd

In a statement Scotland Yard said: ‘We know passions are running high and like everyone we were appalled by the images of George Floyd losing his life. 

‘Our officers are part of the communities of London and care deeply about justice and equality. 

‘Taking the knee is a personal decision and should individual officers at their own discretion, where it was safe to do so, and is doesn’t interfere with their operational duties, decide to kneel on one knee with Londoners they are free to do so.’

Ken Marsh, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation, said his colleagues kneeling down was a show of empathy and respect over the death of Mr Floyd.

Mr Marsh also said it was ‘disappointing’ that police forces in the UK were being compared to their counterparts in the U.S following the death of Mr Floyd, who was pinned down by the neck for more than eight minutes by a Minneapolis officer.

At least 15,000 Black Lives Matter protesters including actor John Boyega and singer Liam Payne gathered in London, ignoring social distancing guidelines, as a show of anger against the death of Mr Floyd 11 days ago.

One of those officers explained his actions and said: ‘I did it because at the end of the day we’re all one.’

Police are generally advised by their senior officers to refrain from any behaviour that might bring their impartiality into question.

But the officer, based in North London, said: ‘I know I’m not racist and I know that my colleagues are not racist, so why not?

‘I came into the job to help people and it was a nice gesture. A few of us decided to do it.’

The ‘take a knee’ movement started in the US with NFL star Colin Kaepernick and has become a symbol of anger and solidarity against racism across the world.

In the US, officers recently started taking a knee in support of protesters following days of unrest after Mr Floyd’s killing at the hands of police.

In the run-up to yesterday’s London protest, the Met released a statement empathising with those angered by Mr Floyd’s death.

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