Activists condemn police pushback on Sarah Everard vigil


"I know that the public feel hurt and angry about what has happened, and those are sentiments that I share personally, and I know my colleagues here at Scotland Yard and across the Met share as well", said Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner Nick Ephgrave, speaking outside Scotland Yard on Friday.

The latest development in the discovery of Everard's body, came as detectives said they had been given more time to a question a serving member of the Metropolitan Police's elite diplomatic protection unit in connection with the case.

As reported by BBC News, Everard, 33, went missing on March 3 during what should have been a 50-minute journey from a friend's house in Clapham, South London, to her home in Brixton. Couzens, 48, was due to appear in court on Saturday.

That includes examining how the suspect ended up requiring treatment in hospital Thursday for a head injury, which police have said he sustained while in custody alone in a cell.

He joined the force in September 2018, when he worked with a response team that covered Bromley.

"I also recognise the wider concerns that are being raised quite rightly about the safety of women in public spaces in London and also elsewhere in the country".

The Metropolitan Police stressed Saturday it "shared the nation's outrage at this crime" and understood the organizers' frustrations that the gathering had to be canceled, but said it was important to remain vigilant against the threat of COVID-19.

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Her disappearance touched off a national outcry over violence against women.

"I would like at this stage to pay tribute to Sarah's family for their fortitude and forbearance through what can only have been the most intensely hard few days, our thoughts remain with him as this matter progresses", he said.

Ms Everard's body, found inside a builder's bag in Kent, was identified through the use of dental records, the court also heard.

"Our thoughts remain with her family and friends at this extremely hard time".

The case has sparked widespread anger in the United Kingdom, and on Thursday MP Jess Phillips read out the names in parliament of 118 women and girls killed in Britain in the previous year. Britain's police watchdog is investigating how the force handled a complaint of indecent exposure against the same suspect, three days before Everard disappeared.

But organisers said that despite their attempts to work with police to ensure the vigil could go ahead safely, they now felt it could not go ahead.

"The disappearance of Sarah and the absolute tragedy around that has really touched a nerve with a lot of women", said Anna Birley, 31, one of the organisers of a planned Reclaim These Streets vigil to honour Ms Everard and demand change.

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