Police Officers Injured as Protests in England Turn Violent

Demonstrators at ‘Kill the Bill’ protests clashed with police in the city of Bristol in southwest England, injuring two police officers and setting police vehicles on fire, according to the police.

Local force Avon and Somerset Police said that the demonstrations where thousands gathered to protest against a policing bill started “as a peaceful protest” but “turned by a small minority into a violent disorder.”

Two police officers were taken to the hospital with broken bones — one suffered broken ribs while the other suffered a broken arm, the police said.

The police also said that protesters set two police vans on fire and caused damage to a police station in nearby Bridewell Street where the crowds gathered.

Images and videos on social media showed protesters throwing fireworks, smashing windows, spray painting on the walls, and rocking a police van from side to side.

Avon and Somerset Police Federation Chair Andy Roebuck described the protesters as a “mob of animals” on Twitter.

United Kingdom Home Secretary Priti Patel described the violence as “unacceptable” on Twitter.

“Thuggery and disorder by a minority will never be tolerated,” Patel added.

Bristol Mayor Marvin Rees also called the violence “unacceptable,” but he also expressed “major concerns” about the bill.

According to Rees, the Police, Crime, Sentencing, and Courts Bill is “poorly thought-out and could impose disproportionate controls on free expression and the right to peaceful protest.”

“It also misses as much as it includes, such as measures that could reduce violence against women and girls,” Rees added.

Thousands gathered to protest the controversial bill going through parliament, which would grant police new powers to restrict street protests, such as being able to impose time and noise limits.

The bill would also allow the police to fine those convicted or to put them in jail.

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