We act for Alfie Meadows who suffered a life-threatening brain injury after he was struck on the head with a baton by a police officer at a protest against university tuition fees in Parliament Square on 9 December 2010. In the summer of 2023, more than twelve-and-a-half years later, the Metropolitan Police have finally apologised and agreed to pay Alfie a large sum of compensation for the life-altering impact of the actions of a police officer during its operation that day. After the protest Alfie was arrested and prosecuted three times for violent disorder. He was unanimously acquitted in 2013. In their letter of apology the Metropolitan Police finally acknowledged that Alfie was protesting peacefully, and not acting aggressively towards any police officer, and that the baton strike that almost killed him was dangerous and unjustified. But despite this acknowledgement, the police officer who struck Alfie will never be held to account for their actions. In all this time the officer has not come forward, their colleagues did not report them, and the Met failed to identify them. Undergoing emergency life-saving brain surgery and the ongoing trauma of the assault deeply affected Alfie's studies, career, and mental health. This impact has been aggravated by the length of time it has taken to get to this point, through which he faced numerous prosecutions, endured a lengthy investigation by the IOPC and a judicial review by City of London police attempting to prevent police misconduct proceedings, and the proceedings themselves. In those 12.5 years the Metropolitan Police Service and City of London Police spent public funds arguing over who struck Alfie during the Metropolitan Police operation on 9 December 2010, causing further delays. The violence Alfie suffered at the hands of the police also impacted all those wishing to exercise their right to protest for fear that they too could be brutally assaulted by the police.
Alfie would like to thank his friends and family, his lawyers, the many campaigners and all those who have supported him all of these years. He would especially like express thanks for the support of many families who have lost loved ones at the hands of the police, and to recognise their continuing struggle for justice. This would not have been possible without them.
“In 2010 the coalition government turned to the police to violently crush resistance to its austerity program. I came close to joining Kevin Gately, Blair Peach, Ian Tomlinson, and others who have been killed on protests by riot police and in police custody, including Brian Douglas who died after a police officer struck him on the head with a baton. After I was seriously injured by a police officer, the entire institution closed ranks, attempting to blame and criminalise me, defend its officer, and delay and deny accountability. In the light of recent reports confirming that the MET is institutionally racist, misogynist, homophobic and corrupt, it beggars’ belief that they continue to receive public money to abuse the public. But the current government’s response has been to provide them with even more draconian powers to crackdown on protest. Without fundamental change we will see no end to injustice at the hands of the police”.
NOTE TO EDITORS
For further information, please contact Daniel Cooper on 020 74043004 or DanielC@ikpsolicitors.com.