Journalist Michael Segalov noted on Twitter that while walking through Finsbury Park in London on April 5 he spotted police confronting a woman who protested she was being treated unfairly.
What happened next?
"I have done nothing wrong," the woman could be heard saying on video Segalov recorded as police led her out of the park. "I'm not resisting."
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
After he followed the officers and the woman out of the park where they stopped by a pair of police vans, Segalov recounted in his Twitter thread that he was "quickly surrounded — much closer than 2 meters — by 5 male officers. They stopped me being able to keep a safe distance. I explained calmly that I'm a journalist and was documenting an incident while walking."
Image source: Twitter video screenshot
He then said Sgt. Gary Brown (3058U) got in his face and said he was "not authorized to go around videoing" before letting loose with some hollering: "You're killing people! Go home!"
"Or you get fined," another officer told Segalov.
The other week journalist @MikeSegalov got hassled and shouted at by the police for filming an incident in a park.â�¦ https://t.co/IBE1UlTYeG— Great Editor (@Great Editor)1587029456.0
What happened later?
According to a complaint letter filed by the ITN network, Segalov felt the officer's spittle on his face, VICE reported.
More from the outlet:
The National Police Chiefs' Council guidance on working with journalists during the coronavirus outbreak clearly states that "journalists are covered as key workers," acknowledges that there is "a public interest in keeping the population informed," and that police will "engage" with journalists if they are unsure why they are outside. Journalists are expected to follow the guidelines on social distancing, which Segalov was doing until he was surrounded.
"We are in a public health emergency, not a police state," Segalov also noted on his Twitter thread. "Surely officers must not be able to act without scrutiny, and journalists must not be aggressively stopped from documenting what they see."
VICE also said Segalov wants an investigation into Sgt. Brown and the other officers as well as a public apology.
What did police have to say?
Police told the outlet that officers were encouraging a woman who was "clearly not exercising" to leave the park when "a man, who identified himself as a journalist, began filming the interaction. The officers spoke to the man. We can confirm a complaint has been received in relation to that interaction which is currently being considered. We always expect our officers to engage with the public in a courteous and respectful manner and where this is not the case, their conduct will be reviewed and they can rightfully be held to account."
According to the Islington Gazette, vans with loudspeakers have been at parks telling people, "You should only be here for exercise. If you're not, then please go home."
TheBlaze recently reported on several disturbing incidents regarding United Kingdom police and their actions related to coronavirus social distancing measures:
On Monday, an expletive-filled video was posted to Twitter showing a man berating "British f***ing police" who allegedly bashed through his front door "to make sure there's nothing going on" amid the COVID-19 lockdown.
Content warning: More than a few F-bombs:
More abuse of power from the #police https://t.co/TiT7aYwtqk— harvington (@harvington)1586766104.0
The previous week, a U.K. cop was caught on video telling a man he isn't allowed to sit in his own front garden due to the government's COVID-19 lockdown.
The officer also chastised the man for wanting to go to the supermarket twice — and that she saw him out earlier after making a nonessential purchase: "You've already been to the shop once; I've seen you with two cans of pop."
South Yorkshire Police have now apologised for telling a family to leave their own front garden. SYP says the pleaâ�¦ https://t.co/tFmCozoWc0— Julian Druker (@Julian Druker)1586512628.0