A naked female demonstrator confronted officers in riot gear during another night of protests in the UK city of Bristol. Photos posted online show the young woman standing in front of police officers with hands raised up.
The demonstration on Tuesday night was peaceful and far smaller than the one on Sunday, which ended in violent clashes with law enforcement. According to British media, between 200 and 250 people attended the demonstration during the afternoon. Around 150 remained on the streets after night fell with 30 people organising a sit-in protest.
Police officers arrested 14 individuals. One person was detained in connection with violence, which occurred on Sunday.
John Apter, the national chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has joined other high-profile officials in criticising the protests. Apter said police officers feel like they are "under siege" and condemned the actions of demonstrators as unacceptable.
In their turn, protesters took issue with the police for the use of excessive force. One female protester told the Daily Mail that police officers came in with force and gave no warning to demonstrators.
"I shouted to one 'what are you doing' and he hit me in the face. He hit my friend too and made her nose bleed. Nasty, nasty people", the woman said.
Local media said police officers acted hard, because they feared that the violence which they witnessed over the weekend might be repeated.
On Sunday, protesters smashed windows, damaged buildings and set police cars alight. At least 20 police officers were injured during the clashes with protesters. One of them suffered a punctured lung and broken ribs and the other suffered a fractured arm. Seven protesters were detained.
Police have released images of 10 people they want to interview as part of the investigation into clashes. Law enforcement also urged local residents to help them identify the perpetrators. A spokesman for Avon and Somerset Police said officers are examining data from CCTV cameras and emphasised that the investigation could be the largest in the force's history.
Why Do Brits Protest?
The protests, which occurred in several cities around the country, came in response to the Government's Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill. The legislation introduces tougher penalties for serious crimes such as murder of a child and ends early prison release for some offenders. But what angered the public and caused concern among rights groups is the fact that the bill gives police officers more powers to deal with non-violent protests.
Currently, in order to disperse demonstrators, police have to determine whether a protest poses a risk of serious public disorder, disruption to the life of community or damage to the property. The new law will allow police officers to act at sole discretion and criminalise protests they deem a "public nuisance". The bill also introduces an offence punished by a fine or jail sentence.
According to the legislation, a person is guilty of the offence if he or she causes "serious harm to the public", which can include "serious annoyance, serious inconvenience or serious loss of amenity".
It seems the bill wouldn’t have faced such harsh opposition if the country had not been rocked by a murder of a 33-year-old woman.
Sarah Everard went missing on 3 March after visiting a friend. An investigation later found that she was killed by a police officer. A vigil held in her memory was broken up by law enforcement with officers forcefully removing female demonstrators.
This caused a national outcry and prompted a debate on police overreach. UK authorities maintain that the new bill will ensure better policing and protection, but critics and rights organisations say it poses a threat to the universal right allowing people to protest.