Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 29 November 2014

G20: Woman may have had a miscarriage after being struck with police shields

A young woman may have suffered a miscarriage after she was struck with police riot shields during the violent G20 clashes, a report said yesterday.

The woman (23) was caught between protesters and officers as they moved into the Bishopsgate camp in the City of London.

She suffered bruising to her arms and legs and began bleeding heavily when she was pushed by officers holding shields and batons.

Independent investigators found the woman was stopped from leaving the area for up to five hours despite her injuries.

The woman, who has not been identified, was later told by her doctor that she may have suffered a miscarriage, although she was not aware she was pregnant.

In a statement to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) the woman described her ordeal.

She said: “I feel the treatment I received by the police officers was unnecessary, disproportionate and inhumane. I feel violated.

“The police used excessive force against me causing me to suffer bruises, swellings and potentially a miscarriage.

“I will probably never know or be able to prove that I was pregnant but I feel very distressed that this may have happened.”

Details were disclosed in the first IPCC inquiry into claims of police brutality during the G20 protests to be published. The incident took place on the evening of April 1 as hundreds of peaceful demonstrators occupied the road with an impromptu camp.

Officials agreed the woman was forcibly pushed back by an officer using a “short shield” and said her experience was typical of many peaceful protesters.

They said the tactic was developed by the Metropolitan Police and had not been approved nationally by senior officers.

The IPCC called on the police to make immediate changes to the way they control public protests.

They said police must review training, warn participants of their plans and allow vulnerable people to be allowed to leave demonstrations.

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