This entire incident was unfortunate for all concerned, but it is important to remember that the officers who attended did not engage until after the memorial event had finished and were attempting to speak with organisers in accordance with the 'Four Es' policing strategy that has been so evident during the pandemic.
Two officers came across this event in the course of patrol and were totally unaware of the event or the context of this memorial.
They were not directed to attend nor did they wish to cause offence or hurt.
Policing has once again found itself caught in the middle of politics in Northern Ireland and individual officers have borne the brunt on this occasion.
Being a police officer has always been difficult in Northern Ireland and this has never been more apparent than during the current Covid and political crises. It's worth remembering many of the high-profile incidents lately would not have had the same profile had it not been for Covid, but the speed at which some incidents are escalated politically and in the media makes everything the police do subject to potential intense scrutiny.
At times like these I believe that officers should have the undiluted public support of our command team, and unfortunately this has not been the case on this occasion.
Public and political support for officers in the difficult policing environment should be unequivocal and not be subject to political horse-trading.
Over the course of the weekend I have spoken with the Chief Constable and have highlighted my concerns and that of the wider workforce into the handling of this incident.
I will be meeting with him this morning, where I will again outline our dismay at how this matter has been handled.
I will seek assurances that the suspended officer and his colleague will not be made scapegoats and that wider strategic failings will be addressed with vigour. Suspending and repositioning officers at a time when there is an investigation by the Police Ombudsman may potentially prejudice any fair investigation.
These officers have in effect been tried and convicted in a very public manner by social media.
How often have we seen in the past that social media doesn't always portray the wider picture?
There is a dangerous trend nowadays to rush to judgment without considering all the relevant facts, and the incendiary language used by many political figures over the past number of weeks does not do society any good.
Our officers are constantly under the microscope.
Now, we must set aside the angry commentary and inflammatory language and let the investigation play out in a climate of objective and honest assessment of all the material facts and the environment society expects the police to operate.
Mark Lindsay is chairman of the Police Federation for Northern Ireland