A COP has been hospitalised after a bike was reportedly thrown at a horse during a Black Lives Matter protest in London yesterday.
Dramatic footage from the demonstrations shows the spooked police horse galloping down Whitehall sending protesters scattering.
The majority of the day's protests were peaceful, until tension escalated at about 7pm last night, Met Police said.
Images from the scene show a man pushing a bicycle towards a police horse before it bolted away.
The female officer riding the horse slammed into a traffic light was left lying on her back on the ground.
Police have not confirmed what spooked the horse, but said a full investigation would be underway.
A Met Police said tonight: "The officer is currently in hospital, receiving treatment for her injuries which are not life-threatening.
"The officer fell from her horse, and we are examining the full circumstances of what took place.
“The horse, uninjured, made its own back to the stables nearby.”
Protesters light flares and and threw glass bottles as chaos escalated.
Officers in full riot gear and batons clashed with dozens of demonstrators last night as the London Mayor condemned the violence.
'INTENT ON VIOLENCE'
Sadiq Khan also tweeted: "To the tiny minority who were violent and threw glass bottles and lit flares - you endangered a safe and peaceful protest and let down this important cause."
Police said 14 people have been arrested for assault on police, criminal damage, making threats and an incident of dangerous driving near the US Embassy.
Superintendent Jo Edwards, spokesperson for policing yesterday’s demonstration, said: “We understand peoples’ passion to come and let their voice be heard, they protested largely without incident.
“Our officers have been professional and very restrained but there was a smaller group intent on violence towards police officers.
“Twenty-three officers have received injuries, doing their job, policing protest over the last few days, and that is totally unacceptable.
“There have been 14 arrests made today, but we expect that number to rise and there will be a post -event investigation carried out.”
Earlier in the day, the Winston Churchill statue was vandalised during yesterday's Black Lives Matter protest in London's Parliament Square.
Pictures show police officers standing in front of the memorial with neon green graffiti defacing it on the 76th anniversary of D-Day.
It appears the world-famous memorial was defaced with letters ACAB - which is believed to stand for 'All Cops Are B******s'.
Yesterday's protests across the UK have largely been peaceful.
Thousands of anti-racism protesters gathered across the UK - despite Matt Hancock's plea to stay away.
Crowds met at Black Lives Matter rallies in London, Manchester, Newcastle, Cardiff and Watford following the death of George Floyd.
Mr Floyd died after white police officer Derek Chauvin held him down by kneeling on his neck in Minneapolis on May 25, sparking days of protests in the US.
On Friday, the Health Secretary begged Brits not to join in, urging them to avoid mass demonstrations as they breach lockdown rules.
But people have been rallying for justice in the UK all week, with thousands taking to the streets.
Boxing champ Anthony Joshua was among the crowds who marched in Watford this afternoon.
Protests across the US had initially been marred by the looting and destroying of shops, and videos of violence between police and crowds quickly spread on social media.
However, peaceful demonstrations have now taken over.
'ENOUGH IS ENOUGH'
On Saturday, more than 15,000 peaceful demonstrators are believed to have gathered around Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester, while a similar turn out was seen outside Parliament Square in London.
In Derry, Northern Ireland, police were filmed interrupting protests by dishing out fines.
Meanwhile, activists held placards which read, "Enough is enough," "Racism is a pandemic too" and "Black Lives Matter" across the UK.
We can no longer sit back and remain silent on the senseless unlawful killings of another human being based on their skin colour.Anthony Joshua
Boxer Anthony Joshua joined the rally in Watford, North London, wearing a Black Lives Matter T-Shirt - despite being on crutches.
Addressing the crowds, he said: "We can no longer sit back and remain silent on the senseless unlawful killings, sly racism of another human being based only on what? Their skin colour.
"We need to speak out in peaceful demonstrations just like today – so well done Watford. Inject the vaccine.
Protester Jonathan Fashanu and his partner Seleste brought their two children - aged two and nine months - to the rally in central London.
'OUR DADS FOUGHT FOR THE SAME THING'
Mr Fashanu, 35, said: "We just don't want the same thing to happen when they grow up and they get older."
"We had our dads fight for the same thing, it's always been an issue, racism is such a systemic and ingrained problem.
"And we just thought that if we don't take the steps now to come out now and do something about it, we're not giving them a fighting chance to deal with these issues."
More are expected to meet outside the US Embassy at 2pm in the capital tomorrow, while other events are planned across the country.
An estimated 4,000 people are expected to attend a demonstration in Bristol, which will include a march through the city to Castle Park on Sunday, Avon and Somerset police said.
'CORONAVIRUS STILL A THREAT'
It comes after ministers urged people not to gather in large numbers this weekend, with police warning that mass demonstrations could be unlawful.
Last night, Health Secretary Matt Hancock said he was "appalled" by the death of Mr Floyd, but stressed the UK was still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remained a "real threat".
Mr Hancock told the daily Downing Street briefing on Friday he could understand why people were "deeply upset", but said people in the UK should not attend large gatherings.
He said: "Like so many I am appalled by the death of George Floyd and I understand why people are deeply upset but we are still facing a health crisis and coronavirus remains a real threat.
The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.Matt Hancock
"The reason that it is vital that people stick to the rules this weekend is to protect themselves and their family from this horrific disease.
"So please, for the safety of your loved ones, do not attend large gatherings including demonstrations of more than six people."
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His comments were echoed by Home Secretary Priti Patel, who wrote on Twitter: "Please for the safety of all of us, do not attend large gatherings - including protests - of more than six people this weekend.
"As @MattHancock said, coronavirus remains a real threat and people must protect themselves and their families from this horrific disease."
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