Black Lives Matter: Bristol cenotaph ‘punch’ photo investigated

Police are investigating a possible assault during a protest at Bristol’s cenotaph on Saturday.

The rally, which attracted hundreds of people, saw a large police presence in the city centre and three arrests.

A photograph taken at the event appears to show a man being punched by a protester.

In other incidents, a 50-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of threatening and abusive behaviour and two assaults on emergency workers.

He remains in custody while a 31 year-old man and a 27 year-old man arrested on suspicion of affray have both been released under investigation.

Image caption Saturday’s rally attracted hundreds of people to Bristol city centre

Although the event was largely peaceful, there were some flashpoints as officers kept the protesters away from a smaller Black Lives Matter group.

Det Insp Will Thorpe of Avon and Somerset Police said: “We are investigating an allegation of an assault in reference to an incident near the cenotaph at 14:22 yesterday afternoon.

“Officers intervened and helped pull a male away from the scene, who was reported to have suffered a minor injury.

“The male returned to the scene approximately two hours later and was recognised by officers who had dealt with the earlier incident.

“On the grounds of his and public safety they asked him to vacate the area and a dispersal notice was issued.

“Approximately 300 people attended the protest yesterday and it was largely peaceful in nature.”

The crowd, who answered a call to “protect” Bristol’s cenotaph after similar memorials were vandalised in London, included war veterans, football fans and bikers.

Saturday’s protest took place just yards from where the statue of slave trader Edward Colston was toppled the previous weekend.

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