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Police officer under investigation after being filmed chanting "Free Palestine" at protest
18 May 2021, 13:38
A Metropolitan Police officer is being investigated by a professional standards team after being filmed chanting "Free Palestine" during a demonstration.
A video posted online shows the female officer interacting with the pro-Palestine protesters, with users questioning whether she should have been expressing political views while on duty.
A spokesman for the force said its internal Directorate of Professional Standards is investigating what happened.
They said: "We are aware of a video that has been posted on social media which shows an officer joining in with chanting while on duty at a demonstration.
"While officers are encouraged to positively engage with those attending demonstrations, they know they are not to actively participate or adopt political positions. This is vital to ensuring the public have confidence in our officers.
"The Directorate of Professional Standards has been informed and are investigating the full circumstances of this incident and to determine what further action is appropriate."
“Don’t worry, the police will protect us.” pic.twitter.com/hz39RnXs7O— Politics 2.0 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@0_politics2) May 18, 2021
In response to the footage, Met Police Twitter account @MetPoliceEvents stressed that officers must remain "impartial" while on duty at protests.
It said: "We police hundreds of public events and protests in London every year and officers must remain independent and impartial in carrying out their duties."
The incident echoes controversy that erupted last summer when some officers were seen taking the knee in a gesture of solidarity with Black Lives Matter protesters.
Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said afterwards that officers should not take such action while on duty.