Met admits it’s ‘possible’ that LGBTQ+ activist was injured by officer at chaotic anti-drag protest

Injured activist

The Metropolitan Police have said it’s possible that a an LGBTQ+ activist could have been injured by an officer, as well as by an anti-drag protestor, during a protest at the Honor Oak Pub in south east London. 

On Saturday (24 June), Turning Point UK – an offshoot of an American right-wing group closely aligned with indicted former US president Donald Trump – protested for the fifth time against the pub for hosting a drag queen story event.

Following the protest, Trans Safety Network told PinkNews that a trans activist was left bloodied after being attacked with “multiple punches” by an anti-drag protestor, then by a police officer during one of the arrests made. Her injuries resulted in her attending hospital.

Previously, the Met told PinkNews there was no reason to believe the activist’s injuries were caused by one of their officers.

On Monday (26 June), however, a Met spokesperson told PinkNews it is “possible” that the LGBTQ+ activist sustained injury while an officer was making an arrest. 

‘It is possible that this is when they sustained their injuries’

“We are aware of a photo on social media showing a person outside The Honor Oak pub in Lewisham with facial injuries,” the spokesperson said. “It has been alleged that they were punched by a police officer during an altercation between protest groups on the morning of Saturday 24 June.

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“Initial enquiries after the incident suggested it was unlikely that their injuries had been sustained as a result of contact with police. Following further enquiries, we now believe the person was in the immediate vicinity when officers moved in to the middle of a group of protestors to detain an individual and it is possible that this is when they sustained their injuries.” 

The spokesperson added that officers tried to engage with the victim but she declined assistance, and that they are happy to be contacted and speak to her at any point. 

Director of Trans Safety Network, Jess O’Thomson, who attend the protest as a reporter, told PinkNews that at around 5.45am, protestors shouted insults and slurs at trans counter-protestors.

O’Thomson said this escalated into anti-drag protestors crossing the road to “physically attack” the trans rights group. 

“Shouting ‘you are f***ed’, glass bottles were thrown at the trans counter-protesters and one of the flags – which were being held together to protect the group – was taken and thrown so hard that it pierced and stuck in the window of the pub,” O’Thomson said.

Broken window
Trans Safety Network tweeted that anti-drag protestors broke the pub’s window. (Aaron Coe/@Shootaaroncoe)  

The victim was attacked with “multiple punches and she backed off to guard her face before being attended right behind me with first aid”, O’Thomson went on to claim. 

“They managed to grab someone out of the line and started stomping on them and shouted things such as ‘we’ll kick the f**k out of you’. The idea was clearly to isolate individuals to attack them,” O’Thomson continued. “They threatened to follow us home. At 6.15am police finally arrived.” 

The Met confirmed that four people have been arrested: two have been bailed, and two since charged.

Jamie Turvey, 33, from Farnborough was charged with using words to cause harassment, alarm or distress.

Amardeep Dhillon, 28, from Lewisham was charged with failing to comply with conditions. 

Both have been bailed and will appear at Bromley Magistrates’ Court on 12 July. 

Two others were arrested on suspicion of assault but have been bailed pending further enquiries.