Photographer wins £30,000

PHOTOGRAPHER David Hoffman has received £30,000 damages from the Metropolitan Police, after being assaulted by an Inspector while covering the G20 protests on 1 April 2009 in the City of London.

David Hoffman in a cell. © David Hoffman

David Hoffman managed to photograph himself in a cell during a previous arrest, at protests against author Salman Rushdie in 1989. That got David £25,000 - in 1992 money - and a statement in open court from the Met that the "evidence" on which he’d been arrested for assault and charged with obstructing police was, to use a technical term, crap.

An inspector in full riot gear ran towards David and hit him in the face with a shield, fracturing his teeth. As well as paying compensation and the cost of the extensive dental work that has been required, the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis has also apologised to David for the treatment he received and has confirmed the force’s recognition that journalists have a right to report freely.

Throughout the event he was carrying professional equipment and had his Press Card clearly visible around his neck and was obviously a journalist.

The Met has refused to say whether action is being taken against the officer, who is still on Public Order duty.

Photo © David Hoffman

David Hoffman's talk at the "Who's afraid of photographers?" event - click photo for video

Last modified: 10 Feb 2011 - © 2011 contributors
The Freelance editor is elected by London Freelance Branch and responsibility for content lies solely with the editor of the time
Send comments to the editor: editor@londonfreelance.org