LOYALIST PARADE: MAN CHARGED WITH ASSAULTING POLICE OFFICER

Loyalist protestors gather in Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre

Loyalist protestors gather in Royal Avenue in Belfast city centre

A MAN is to face a court later this month charged with assaulting a police officer during a loyalist protest march in Belfast.

Two police officers were injured – one of whom was knocked unconscious – during Saturday’s rally.

The officers were hurt at the junction of Tennent Street and Crumlin Road as they blocked protesters who had left the designated route.

The 35-year-old suspect has been charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm.

He is due before Belfast Magistrates’ Court on Monday, December 23.

Around 1,500 marchers took part in Saturday’s protest parade, which was organised by the group Loyalist Peaceful Protesters.

It said the parade was held to highlight “PSNI brutality”, “political policing” and “human rights”.

The marchers breached a ruling by the Parades Commission that had instructed protesters to leave the Belfast City Hall area by noon.

The parade began an hour late, but otherwise passed through Belfast city centre without incident.

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