London police face backlash for dragging mourners from vigil

It was supposed to be a vigil for a woman whose suspected killer is a police officer.

Instead, the tactics used by London police to break it up were widely seen as heavy-handed.

There were clashes, and women were dragged away from the scene by officers.

One woman was pinned to the floor.

Now the Metropolitan Police faces a backlash from both politicians and the public, including these women who went to the site at London's Clapham Common on Sunday.

"I feel very angry that they think they have the right to dictate how we mourn and how we react."

"What it's done is kicked up every single thing that's ever happened to us and as a collective, we needed to come together to be able to grieve that as a process and basically the police robbed us of our human rights for collective grief."

The disappearance of 33-year-old Sarah Everard as she walked home on the evening of March 3rd, has provoked an outpouring of grief and dismay in Britain at the failure of police and society to tackle violence against women.

Police had denied permission for a vigil on Saturday evening at Clapham Common.

They cited regulations aimed at preventing the spread of coronavirus.

The minister in charge of policing Priti Patel described footage of the incident as "upsetting" and said she had asked for a full report on what happened.

The Metropolitan Police defended the officers' actions and said they were faced with a very difficult decision.