by Oleg Burunov
On Saturday, Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, who is accused of the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard, appeared in court following his arrest earlier last week.
The Metropolitan Police have opened an inquiry following a woman’s claims that she was flashed by a man after a Sarah Everard vigil on Saturday night.
According to the woman, the man exposed himself as she was returning from the vigil held in South London’s Clapham Common.
The woman, who only identified herself as Georgina, insisted in an interview with the news outlet Lambeth Life that a male officer ostensibly said the police had “had enough tonight with the rioters [during the vigil]” in response to a policewoman telling Georginia that the flashing-related incident would be looked into.
“He started moving the team into the van”, the woman said, adding that she was “just shocked to be told essentially to go away”.
The 27-year-old went on to say that even if the police had said they “were not going to go into it but we’ll walk you, that would have been something”
“You shouldn’t be scared around the police – you should feel protected. That’s not what happened”, Georgina pointed out, stressing that the incident made her feel “unsafe”.
The remarks come as the Metropolitan Police are facing severe criticism for their handling of the Sarah Everard vigil at Clapham Common, with many calling for London Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick’s resignation.
On Saturday night, clashes broke out at the vigil as officers told participants to go home and police officers were seen grabbing hold of several women and leading them away in handcuffs.
The police initially denied permission for the vigil, referring to anti-COVID-19 restrictions for their refusal to sanction the event.
Labour leader Keir Starmer called the videos that emerged on social media “deeply concerning”, and Home Secretary Priti Patel said she would like to hear from the police about the matter.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, in turn, said the response by Metropolitan Police officers was “neither appropriate nor proportionate”, calling for an independent investigation into the matter.
Cressida Dick, for her part, made it clear that she isn’t thinking about stepping down, adding, “We’re still in a pandemic, unlawful gatherings are unlawful gatherings, officers have to take action if people are putting themselves massively at risk”.
The developments followed Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, who is accused of the kidnapping and murder of Everard, being remanded into custody after appearing in court on Saturday morning.
The 33-year-old Everard disappeared as she was walking home from Clapham to Brixton on the evening of 3 March. Her body was found hidden in a builder’s bag in an area of woodland in Ashford, Kent last Wednesday.