A TEENAGER has been charged with assaulting an emergency worker during the violent protest outside a Knowsley hotel.
Jarad Skeete, 19, from Aigburth, Liverpool, was among 15 people arrested during the demonstration on Friday evening outside the Suites Hotel in Knowsley which is housing asylum seekers, Merseyside Police said.
He is accused of violent disorder and assault by beating of an emergency services worker.
Skeete has been remanded in custody and will appear at Wirral Adult Remand Court on Monday.
The remaining 14 people who were arrested – 12 men and two women who are mainly from the Knowsley area – have been conditionally bailed pending the outcome of police inquiries.
Merseyside Police said the violence, which has been condemned by politicians, left an officer and two members of the public with slight injuries.
Lit fireworks were thrown at officers and a police van was torched after being attacked with hammers.
Cops have appealed for information but said in a statement today that “we would remind people to pass this information directly to police as social media speculation and comment can jeopardise live investigations”.
Merseyside Chief Constable Serena Kennedy said officers were aware of rumours circulating on social media before the protest about an alleged incident “when a man made inappropriate advances towards a teenage girl”.
Home Secretary Suella Braverman condemned the disorder, saying the “alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers is never an excuse for violence”.
Ms Braverman posted on Twitter: “I condemn the appalling disorder in Knowsley last night.
“The alleged behaviour of some asylum seekers is never an excuse for violence and intimidation.
“Thank you to @MerseyPolice officers for keeping everyone safe.”
On Saturday, asylum seeker Ahmed, who did not want to give his second name, said he had watched the protest from the window of the hotel.
The teacher, who came to the country one month ago from Egypt, said: “I was afraid. We came to the UK for safety.”
“Everyone should support Merseyside Police in dealing with extremism and violence.
“The Home Secretary is wrong to dismiss far right threats for political reasons.
“Instead she should be championing vigilance against all kinds of extremism.”
Knowsley MP Sir George Howarth said: “The people of Knowsley are not bigots and are welcoming to people escaping from some of the most dangerous places in the world in search of a place of safety.
“Those demonstrating against refugees at this protest tonight do not represent this community.”
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