The Metroplitan Police has apologised and paid damages to a photographer after he complained that he was assaulted while covering a protest.
Marc VallÃ©e also issued proceedings against Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Ian Blair, for the ‘battery’and infringement of his freedom of expression, which he claims breached the Human Rights Act.
VallÃ©e was covering the ‘Sack Parliament’protest in London’s Parliament Square in October 2006 when he received injuries that needed urgent medical attention and treatment after the incident.
He claims he was ‘grabbed’by a policeman who ‘roughly shoved him’and that he was ‘propelled through a police line, and on the ground where he landed, both winded and shocked”.
ValÃ©e has received a statement from the Met expressing regret along with an assurance that it will ‘identify where lessons can be learned”.
VallÃ©e’s payout was between £5,000 and £15,000 – and the Met must also pay his legal fees which run into five figures.
He said: ‘I refused to settle unless I had an apology. I want them to recognise that they can’t do this to journalists who are working, especially a journalist like me who was well known to them anyway.”
The solicitor representing VallÃ©e, Chez Cotton of Hickman and Rose, said: ‘Mr VallÃ©e is a well-respected photojournalist, lawfully present to photograph a political protest outside Parliament, yet he was brutally prevented from doing so by the police. It is right that Mr VallÃ©e has received an apology, an out-of-court settlement and that his legal costs will be met by the police.”