Photographer sues Met police for ‘assault’

pressgazette.co.uk 17th September 2007

A photographer is suing the Metropolitan Police after claiming that he was assaulted and his right to right of expression under the Human Rights Act infringed during a protest last year.

Marc Vallee (left) has served papers on the police force, through solicitors Hickman and Rose for alleged police assault during the “Sack Parliament” protest in London’s Parliament Square on 9 October 2006.

Vallee, a member of the National Union of Journalists, claims he received injuries “further to action by Metropolitan Police officers” and was tended to by ambulance workers at the scene before being treated at St Thomas’s Hospital.

Chez Cotton, of Hickman and Rose, said: “Freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy and safeguards afforded to the press are particularly important. Mr Vallee was lawfully present to photograph a political protest outside parliament, yet received injuries at the hands of Metropolitan police officers.

“In these circumstances it is hoped that the commissioner of the Metropolitan Police will swiftly confirm that neither he nor his officers have any legal power or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict what the media record, and resolve this case urgently.”

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