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Cops Shut Down Peaceful Vigil for Sarah Everard

One of their own is charged in her murder
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 14, 2021 7:40 AM CDT

(Newser) – Police clashed with mourners Saturday at a vigil attended by thousands for a woman who was allegedly kidnapped and murdered by one of their own. At a spot in South London's Clapham Common near where 33-year-old Sarah Everard is believed to have been snatched from the roadside while walking home the night of March 3, peaceful mourners were dragged away, and some handcuffed, after police say they were acting in violation of coronavirus regulations, per CNN. Outrage over the show of force comes just days after Wayne Couzens, a London police officer, was arrested in Everard's murder—including from politicians like Home Secretary Priti Patel, who called footage from the vigil "upsetting" in a tweet.

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Per the Evening Standard, London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he's "urgently seeking an explanation" amid accusations that male officers at the vigil were "manhandling" some female mourners. In a statement, Metropolitan Police Service Assistant Commissioner Helen Ball defended officers' actions, saying they "were placed in this position because of the overriding need to protect people’s safety." Police said four arrests were made in total. Per the AP, 48-year-old Couzens appeared in court Saturday for the first time and was remanded in custody and has another appearance scheduled Tuesday at London’s Central Criminal Court. (Read more London stories.)

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