No Prison for BLM Protester Who Hurled Metal Fences at Fleeing Police Officers

TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images
TOLGA AKMEN/AFP via Getty Images

A Black Lives Matter (BLM) supporter who hurled sections of metal fence at fleeing police officers in London has been allowed to walk out of court with a suspended sentence.

Shayden Spencer, 20, admitted violent disorder in the British capital and showed up for his sentencing late, but still escaped with a suspended sentence, small fine, and requirement to perform some upaid work and attend a 15-day rehabilitation course after the judge and even the prosecutor appeared to join the defence in attempting to offer mitigation for him in court.

“The defendant is seen clearly to walk towards the waist-height barrier and throw a piece of barrier that had been broken up. He then returns 55 seconds later and does exactly the same thing,” said Tyrone Silcott for the prosecution, describing footage of his attack — but then went on to say Spencer had “expressed his regret [for] what he described as being in the heat of the moment. He said his actions did not ‘reflect the person I am’.”

“He stated he went to the Black Lives Matters protest as part to raise a voice for racial rights in a peaceful manner. He said he never thought the protest would become violent,” the prosecutor went on, according to a MailOnline court report, adding that “It was the first protest he had ever attended” and that he “expressed serious regrets for his actions”.

Judge Gregory Perrins, too, appeared more than willing to offer excuses for the convict, conceding that Spencer had committed “an extremely serious offence of public disorder” but adding that he had been “swept away with events as they unfolded” and “shown true regret”.

The judge went on to praise Spencer — a teaching assistant — as being “plainly someone who has the potential for a bright future”.

This light-touch approach to justice when it comes to Black Lives Matter supporters is nothing new in Britain, with the authorities having previously let off a demonstrator who clambered on the Cenotaph war memorial and tried to set fire to one of the British flags adorning it with a conditional discharge and small fine, let off someone who vandalised a statue of Admiral Nelson with a similar non-punishment, and let off someone arrested in connection with the destruction of a statue in Bristol with a caution in exchange for attending a meeting “to discuss the future of all statues in the city” — arguably more of a reward than a punishment.

This contrasts sharply with the authorities’ treatment of a pro-statues counter-protester who was pictured urinating beside a small memorial to a fallen police officer, apparently without realising it was there, last year.

This statue defender was arrested, charged, convicted, and imprisoned within a matter of days despite handing himself in at the earliest opportunity.

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