G20 photographer awarded ?30,000 for injury by police

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By Owen Bowcott

guardian.co.uk, Tuesday 7 December 2010 05.01 GMT

Police guarding the entrance to the Royal Exchange building at the G20 protest last year. Photograph: Fiona Hanson/PA

A photographer who was struck in the face by a police shield during the G20 protests last year has been awarded ?30,000 compensation by the Metropolitan police.
David Hoffman, who was covering the event in his professional capacity, suffered fractured teeth after a police inspector in full riot gear ran at him and hit him with the shield, says his law firm, Bindmans, which negotiated the settlement.
Hoffman’s solicitor, Chez Cotton, said in a statement: “Journalists such as my client are critical in disseminating information into the wider public domain.
“Reporters and photojournalists play a significant role recording political unrest, political events, which includes recording protest and, if it arises, police wrongdoing.
“That my client was assaulted by a police officer when carrying out this essential function, and brutally so, is shocking. Fortunately with photographic and film evidence of the incident and detailed testimony, Mr Hoffman has succeeded in holding the police to account.”
In an accompanying apology, the Metropolitan police said: “On 1 April 2009 well-respected social issues photographer David Hoffman was recording the G20 protests in the City of London.
“The Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) recognise that Mr Hoffman was entitled to report on that day but was caused injury by an MPS officer during the event, preventing him from doing so.
“The MPS confirms its recognition that freedom of the press is a cornerstone of democracy and that journalists have a right to report freely. The MPS apologise to Mr Hoffman for the treatment he received and have paid compensation.”
Jeremy Dear, the NUJ’s general secretary, said: “No journalist should be singled out by the police and the police service has no legal powers or moral responsibility to prevent or restrict photographers’ work. Journalists have a duty to record and report on public protests as well as the behaviour of the police.
“David’s case is a shocking example of police brutality and totally unacceptable.”
Related link in British Journal of Photography

Author: Shahidul Alam

Time Magazine Person of the Year 2018. A photographer, writer, curator and activist, Shahidul Alam obtained a PhD in chemistry before switching to photography. His seminal work “The Struggle for Democracy” contributed to the removal of General Ershad. Former president of the Bangladesh Photographic Society, Alam set up the Drik agency, Chobi Mela festival and Pathshala, South Asian Media Institute, considered one of the finest schools of photography in the world. Shown in MOMA New York, Centre Georges Pompidou, Royal Albert Hall and Tate Modern, Alam has been guest curator of Whitechapel Gallery, Winterthur Gallery and Musee de Quai Branly. His awards include Mother Jones, Shilpakala Award and Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dali International Festival of Photography. Speaker at Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Oxford and Cambridge universities, TEDx, POPTech and National Geographic, Alam chaired the international jury of the prestigious World Press Photo contest. Honorary Fellow of Royal Photographic Society, Alam is visiting professor of Sunderland University in UK and advisory board member of National Geographic Society. John Morris, the former picture editor of Life Magazine describes his book “My journey as a witness”, (listed in “Best Photo Books of 2011” by American Photo), as “The most important book ever written by a photographer.”

One thought on “G20 photographer awarded ?30,000 for injury by police”

  1. After 40 years of the independence, not a single of the millions of misconducts by Bangladesh Police has been punished by the judiciary (forget about the government!)
    Signs do not suggest this will ever happen in tne current century..
    Long live Bangladesh!!

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