A teenager who was attacked by far-right “statue defenders” during a London Black Lives Matter protest has said he was stopped and searched by the police officer he asked for help.
The 16-year-old, who is Black, had travelled to the capital on the 13th of June to take part in a BLM protest, unaware that it had been postponed due to the threat of a far-right presence.
Arriving in Westminster, where mobs of white men had ostensibly gathered to “protect” a statue of Winston Churchill from BLM protesters – but in reality just got drunk and attacked the police and one another – the teenager and his group of friends were confronted by a number of far-right yobs.
Gerard – who declined to give his full name to Channel 4 News – was separated from his friends and knocked to the floor. One attacker then bottled him in the face, leaving a cut below his left eye. After escaping, Gerard says he found a policeman, who he asked to help him find safety or an ambulance.
“And he was like, ‘No,'” said Gerard. “He had to go and help the rest of his team. He did at least try to talk me through it and look for injuries, but he also stopped and searched me.”
The Metropolitan Police said the officer “deemed [Gerard’s injury] not serious”, and that because of a section 60 order, police had the power to stop and search “those they believed to have been involved in violence”.
Gerard’s family will be filing a complaint against the Met.
This article originally appeared on VICE UK.