During last week's student protests against the rise in university fees, a young man by the name of Jody McIntyre, who suffers from cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, was caught on video being attacked by the police.
Not only did the police hit him across the shoulder with a baton, they twice forcibly removed him from his wheelchair and dragged him across the road before dumping him on the floor. The second attack was caught on camera, and has caused uproar amongst those who see the "riots" that the media has concentrated so much on as a direct consequence of the police's provocative actions.
Not a protest in London goes by lately without some kind of police brutality being caught on camera. Who can forget the death of Ian Tomlinson at last year's G20, or Sergeant Smellie slapping and batoning Nicola Fisher at the memorial protest in honour of his death the next day - which was also filmed by a bystander. Don't the police realise that in this day and age of cheap recording equipment, the protester's biggest weapon is their mobile phone?
At the latest protest we have the tragic case of Alfie Meadows who almost died and had to undergo intensive brain surgery after he was hit on the head with a baton by another policeman, while trying to leave an area that had been kettled by the police. It is worth noting that at the time, Chief Superintendent Julia Pendry went on record stating that police were allowing peaceful protestors to exit the square.
And now we have a disgraceful instance of cops attacking one of the vulnerable people they are supposed to protect. Worse, the protestors are then blamed for any subsequent disorder. How do they expect people to react when they are kettled, battered, made witnesses to assaults on women, legal minors and people with disabilities? Do they expect people to wait in line for their own punishment, or is it conceivable that some of them might get a little bit angry?
No wonder many people believe that the police intentionally carry out these types of attacks on protesters, in order to provoke a response which they can then use to justify even more force.
I had the immense joy of watching the victim of the most recent attack, Jody McIntyre, being interviewed on the BBC news channel earlier tonight. The interviewer Ben Brown was trying his best to justify the police's actions, but was taken to task by Jody in a brilliant way. It made the BBC look shameful for their attempt to legitimise his assault.
Ben Brown: There was a suggestion that you were rolling towards the police in your wheelchair
Jody McIntyre: I think to justify a police officer pulling a disabled person out of a wheelchair and dragging them across a concrete road is quite ridiculous and I'm surprised that you tried to do so.
It is ridiculous, and the BBC should be ashamed of their attempts to justify this appalling police behaviour - even if we have come to expect it. No longer can we call these incidents isolated or the result of a few bad apples, as Jody says himself in the interview: "This is the police's role at demonstrations - to provoke and incite violence." It seems that they are doing their job very well.
You can watch the BBC interview with Jody McIntyre here: