Police quietly ‘retract’ claims that officers suffered broken bones at Bristol protest

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Police confirm officers did not suffer broken bones at Bristol protest

Avon and Somerset Police has confirmed two of its officers injured during violent protests in Bristol did not suffer any broken bones.

Police bosses said two officers were taken to hospital – one with a broken arm and another with broken ribs and a punctured lung – following Sunday’s disorder.

It has since emerged neither of the two officers had suffered any broken bones.

The headlines following the Bristol protest described police officers with broken bones and even punctured lungs

However, yesterday, Avon and Somerset police quietly admitted that no officers suffered broken bones during Sunday’s Kill The Bill protest. In a statement posted to their website, the force said: “Thankfully following a full medical assessment of the two officers taken to hospital, neither were found to have suffered confirmed broken bones.”

This is quite an admission given that, in the hours following the riot, the force was telling all and sundry that an officer had been rushed to hospital with a punctured lung after being stamped on by a baying mob, claims that were, of course, uncritically repeated by the likes of the Telegraph and the Times.

Emily Apple senior editor at The Canary tweeted: “Time and again the mainstream media are happy to parrot police lies without questioning their narrative. Turns out no cops suffered broken bones at the #BristolProtest But that didn’t stop this fantasy from being splashed over every major mainstream outlet. #KillTheBill

If you can’t trust a copper, to tell the truth, who can you trust?

Chief Constable Andy Marsh stated reports that officers had suffered broken bones on Sunday and that one had sustained a punctured lung, were not true.

A force statement said the chief constable had spoken to injured officers and when he addressed the media on Monday, believed some injuries to be more serious than they were.

“We clarified the extent of injuries proactively in our official media update this morning to be as transparent as possible,” the statement said, adding the officer suspected to have had a punctured lung still required hospital treatment and a CT scan.

The number of officers assaulted on Sunday had risen from 21 to 40, with one journalist also attacked, it added.

‘I CALMLY TOLD POLICE I WAS A JOURNALIST, BUT THEY SAID THEY DIDN’T BELIEVE ME’

I watched riot police tussle with protesters on the same bit of road that I used to walk my eldest daughter to school when she went to St George Primary School at the foot of Brandon Hill.

Journalist Martin Booth, who attended Tuesday’s protest for the Bristol 24/7 website, said he believed police had been “quite heavy-handed” against protesters.

“Some of them were sitting down as the police waded in and it was quite shocking to see,” he said.

“These protesters may have been there against the law but they were not spoiling for any fight, from my perspective.”

These were extremely volatile situations and I saw it as my duty as a journalist to document as much of what I saw as possible.-Martin Booth

“Independent journalism has never been more important and vital than it is right now.” added Martin Booth

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