No action against British G20 policeman who hit protester

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A British police officer who hit a protester during last year's G20 summit in London will not face disciplinary action after being cleared of assault in court, the police watchdog said Thursday.

Sergeant Delroy Smellie hit animal rights activist Nicola Fisher, 36, with his police baton during a demonstration in central London against the global gathering in April 2009.

He was charged with assault but a judge ruled in March that he acted in self-defence. Following that decision, the Independent Police Complaints Commission said Thursday that no further action was warranted.

A misconduct report by the body "concluded that in the circumstances of Sgt Smellie's acquittal there was no further case to answer", it said.

However it recommended that all officers' equipment clearly state their identification number, after a number of police at the G20 protest were accused of covering them up.

And it called for a review to ensure police have at least eight hours between working shifts "in order to be in a fit state to perform their duties".

The confrontation with Fisher took place during a vigil to mark the death of a man the previous day. He had collapsed and died after walking through the main G20 demonstration, shortly after being hit by police.

© 2010 AFP

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