Chaos ensued as the crowd swelled to more than 1,000 people (Picture: Newsflare)
Violence spilled onto the streets of Bristol last night as a third ‘Kill the Bill’ demonstration resulted in 10 arrests.
Glass bottles, bricks and eggs were thrown at police officers and fireworks were launched at its mounted division, with one horse being daubed with paint.
Demonstrators also shone laser lights into officer’s faces and pulled at their riot shields.
Some 300 people initially joined a march through the city centre against the Government’s new Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, which would provide more powers to impose restrictions on protests.
The majority of demonstrators last night acted peacefully, but tempers flared as the crowd swelled to more than 1,000 people.
Oficers wearing helmets and holding shields moved towards the protesters after 10pm, after calling for the crowd to disperse due to Covid restrictions.
Avon and Somerset Police were also accused of acting disproportionately, with Daily Mirror journalist Matthew Dresch saying he was barged by police despite claiming he was from the press.
Demonstrators hit the streets in opposition to a bill which would give police powers to crack down on protests (Picture: Getty Images)
Video footage shows fireworks being launched at terrified horses (Picture: Newsflare)
A woman is pulled from the crowd by riot police (Picture: PA)
One horse was daubed with paint and protesters shone lasers into officer’s eyes (Picture: Newsflare)
He tweeted: ‘I was respectfully observing what was happening and posed no threat to any of the officers.’
Video footage also shows officers whacking demonstrators with their shields and truncheons as they sat on the floor and beating a demonstrator’s leg as they drag him away.
Responding to last night’s clashes, Superintendent Mark Runacres said: ‘The majority of people acted peacefully however there was a minority who showed hostility to officers. This violent conduct is not acceptable.
‘Officers repeatedly encouraged people to disperse but once the atmosphere changed and people became physical it was necessary to take action.’
Three of those arrested were also detained in connection with last Sunday’s first march, which was followed by another demonstration on Tuesday night, which saw 15 arrests.
Supt Runacres added: ‘All the officers policing the incident are specially trained and accredited in public order and showed exceptional patience in the face of a significant disorder.
‘At times reasonable force had to be used – this is not something we ever want to do but we have a duty to uphold the law, prevent crime, and protect people and property.’
A large police presence was on duty during the demonstration, with horses and dogs used to help move the crowd back.
The majority of protesters did act peacefully, but scenes later turned ugly (Picture: Getty Images)
Glass bottles, bricks and eggs were thrown at police officers (Picture: SWNS)
Police say 10 people were arrested at last night’s protest (Picture: Reuters)
Last night saw Bristol’s third ‘Kill the Bill’ protest (Picture: SWNS)
Prior to the arrests, protesters had been spotted dancing to music despite heavy rain, handing out flowers and chanting slogans such as ‘Who do you protect?’ and ‘Justice for Sarah’, in reference to murder victim Sarah Everard.
Serving police officer Wayne Couzens, 48, from Deal, Kent, has been charged with her murder.
Rows of officers and vans blocked the protesters from Bridewell police station, the scene of Sunday’s violence.
The proposed Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill would give police in England and Wales more power to impose conditions on non-violent protests, including those deemed too noisy or a nuisance, with those convicted liable to fines or jail terms.
Tempers started to flare as the crowd swelled to 1,000 people (Picture: Getty Images)
‘Once the atmosphere changed and people became physical it was necessary to take action,’ said police (Picture: Newsflare)
Police have retracted claims that officers suffered fractures in Sunday’s riot (Picture: EPA)
Officers wearing helmets and riot shields moved in to disperse the crowd at around 10pm (Picture: Getty Images)
The first demonstration last Sunday began peacefully with around 3,000 attending, but descended into a riot when some 500 people marched on Bridewell police station.
Twelve people have been arrested in connection with that protest, in which officers were attacked, police vehicles were set on fire and the windows of a police station smashed.
Avon and Somerset Police later retracted claims two officers suffered fractures and another a punctured lung in Sunday night’s riot.
A force spokesman said: ‘We believed the information had been verified but it had not, and while we apologise for that there was no intention to mislead.’
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