A police officer has apologised after posting a Facebook message saying that he wanted to “beat up some long haired hippies” at the G20.
PC Rob Ward wrote the comment just an hour after the death of Ian Tomlinson, the 47-year-old bystander who was struck by riot police on the day of the protests.
In a status update to friends at 8.17pm on April 1, the Metropolitan Police officer wrote: “Can’t wait to bash some long haired hippys up @ the G20”.
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PC Ward, 27, who is based in Enfield, north London, was due on duty the next day for the opening of the summit, when world leaders converged on the capital for financial talks.
News of the officer’s insensitive outburst could not come at a worse time for the Met Police, which is the subject of three investigations by the Independent Police Complaints Commission over its handling of the protests.
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The watchdog has received more than 185 complaints had been received relating to G20 of which almost 90 were from alleged victims of – or witnesses to – excessive police force.
PC Ward has now expressed regret for his remarks, but they have still not been removed from the social networking website.