Violent protests erupted Sunday night in the British city of Bristol over a proposed police and crime bill that would create new comprehensive restrictions on protests and give police new broad powers.
Video from the scene showed a police vehicle on fire and protesters accusing the vehicle filled with graffiti. One officer suffered a broken arm and another a broken rib, authorities said.
The bill’s killing protest drew thousands of protesters to the southwestern city, witnesses reported.
Authorities were quick to denounce the violence.
British Home Secretary Priti Patel said the scenes in Bristol were unacceptable.
Massacre and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated, she said on Twitter. Our police officers put themselves in a way of injury to protect us all. My thoughts this evening are with those injured cops.
Reuters news agency reported that one of its photographers had seen demonstrators opening fireworks at police officers and escalating a police building and spraying graffiti on it. Photographs also saw police officers, some in full riot gear, trying to repel protesters using batons and shields.
Police officials said officers were fired shells, including a fireworks display, and verbally abused.
Stating that these scenes are absolutely embarrassing, Avon Police Department and Somerset said in a statement that those responsible for the acts will be identified and brought to justice, the force said on Twitter.
police bill debating in Parliament would make it easier for authorities to set limits on demonstrations and punish protesters who refuse to abide by the rules.
Opposition to the move rose after a police crackdown on a rally in London earlier this month to protest violence against women.
Police drew widespread criticism for their handling of a vigilance to mark the murder of a 33-year-old woman. The vigilance in South London was for Sarah Everard, whose murder sparked a national outcry over misogyny. Officers from the Metropolitan Police, London’s main force, clashed with some of those present.
Bristols Mayor Marvin Rees said Sunday he acknowledged the disappointments with the police bill, Reported by BBC, but that the destruction of buildings in our downtown, the destruction of vehicles, the attack of our police will do nothing to reduce the likelihood of the bill passing.
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