TDespite strict coronavirus restrictions, hundreds of people in south London held a protest against the killing of Sarah E. Police attempts to break up the unauthorized meeting on Saturday evening sparked a wave of criticism on the Internet. Footage showed police shackling several of the protesters in a park in the Clapham neighborhood.
“Tonight’s clapham scenes are very disturbing,” opposition leader Keir Starmer wrote on Twitter. I share their anger and dissatisfaction with how the matter has been handled. Conservative MP Steve Baker also spoke of “unspeakable scenes” and called on UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “change the lockdown now”.
The vigil organizers canceled the event because police banned it due to coronavirus restrictions. But hundreds broke the ban and came to the park anyway. The demonstrators chanted “Shame on you” in the face of the police, indicating that an elite officer in the British police was officially accused of killing the young woman.
A debate about women’s safety
The officer, who belongs to the Deputies and Diplomats Protection Unit, was arrested last Tuesday, on suspicion of kidnapping. A murder suspicion against him was later confirmed. He is also accused of indecent exposure.
After body parts were found in a wooded area in Kent County in southeast England, British police confirmed that they were missing, Sarah E. A had left a friend’s apartment in Clapham on the evening of March 3 and had never come home. The woman’s disappearance and the search that followed shocked the whole country. The case primarily sparked a discussion about women’s safety.