NEWS
09/06/2020 18:48 BST | Updated 09/06/2020 19:35 BST

Nurse Traumatised After Being Trampled By Police Horse At Black Lives Matter Protest

Jessie Tieti Mawutu was at the anti-racism demonstration in London when mounted police officers charged at protesters.

A woman who was trampled by a police horse at a Black Lives Matter protest in central London has told of her shock at her treatment by the Met.

The incident has now been referred to the police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

Nineteen-year-old Jessie Tieti Mawutu told HuffPost UK she had been traumatised by the collision, which left her with bruises and swollen limbs. 

On Saturday after a day of largely peaceful protests in the capital, tensions began to flare as crowds of anti-racism protesters gathered outside Downing Street.

Violence broke out as mounted police officers charged at the crowd in an attempt to disperse them and move people down Whitehall.

Videos circulating on social media showed one police officer being knocked from her horse after riding into a traffic light.

The horse then continued to gallop away from the protest, knocking over several people – including Mawutu, a student nurse from London. 

She later shared a video of the collision on Twitter.

Mawutu had attended the protest with her younger sister and cousin during the day, and they decided to make their way home when it started raining.

“We saw around six or seven police vans drive past us with sirens on and started to see protesters running towards us,” she told HuffPost UK.

“The next thing I knew i was hit by something heavy that pushed me to the ground with full force and rolled me a few times on the ground.”

She said she was “unconscious for a few seconds” before opening her eyes “to see my younger sister shaking me, crying over me” and other protesters asking if she was OK.

HuffPost UK
19-year-old Jessie Tieti Mawutu was left "screaming" in pain after being trampled by a police horse on Saturday.

The incident left her “confused” and “screaming” in pain, she said, with “bruises and swollen limbs”.

And the next day she was left “shocked” and “traumatised” when she spoke to an officer from her local police station to file for a complaint.

The officer reportedly told her he could not process the complaint on the basis that the police had acting accordingly because the protest had turned violent.

“He continued to say that me being trampled by a horse was ‘in fact’ an unfortunate accident that the police are not responsible for,” she said.

Despite explaining that the demonstration had been largely peaceful up to the point that she had left and until police charged at the crowd on horseback, she says, the officer told her action would have never been taken by the police had the protesters remained peaceful.

Instead, Mawutu said, he was convinced that she was more concerned about her phone – which had been damaged during the incident – and told her: “Just get your people to make a donation.”

“This comment had made me realise how ignorant and unserious he was being about the incident,” she said. 

″[I told him] why we are peacefully protesting, what we as a Black community are experiencing.

“He then said that this was not the police’s fault but the protesters’ fault, then said to me that I should have never been there in the first place.

“In the background I heard one of his colleagues laugh and he joined in and attempted to stop himself. I realised I was not being taken seriously and ended the call.”  

Mawutu said the exchange left her “angry and extremely frustrated”, and felt that the police were choosing to “completely disregard those who are asking for their help but turn their backs and proceed to change what they had truly heard and witnessed for their own reputation and safety”. 

“I definitely see this as part of the larger problem with how police treat the BLM movement,” she said. 

“They refuse to take the responsibility of anything bad that has happened in their hands, but would happily switch it around and blame anything going wrong on those supporting the movement.”

Mawutu has started a petition demanding that the Met Police investigate her case and for the methods used by officers during Saturday’s protest be reviewed. 

DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS via Getty Images
An officer was knocked from her horse after riding into a traffic light, the Metropolitan Police confirmed.

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: “We can confirm the Met is reviewing the circumstances surrounding a collision between a horse from Mounted Branch and a member of the public in Whitehall on Saturday.

“The rider fell from the horse whilst policing the ongoing demonstrations and sustained serious injuries. The horse, which was uninjured, made its way back to the nearby stables. The officer remains in hospital in a stable condition. The full circumstances of exactly what happened are currently being reviewed.

“As of June 9 no official complaint has been received, but the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) will be directly contacting the member of public involved to ensure their account is acknowledged and processed in the correct manner.

“The matter has also been referred to the IOPC as is routine in these circumstances.”