Danish police: broadcaster “doctored” violent protest footage

Copenhagen Police have accused public broadcaster DR of manipulating footage of the 2009 UN climate conference to appear as if orders were given to beat up protesters and journalists. A documentary about the mass arrests which seemed to show an on-site commander encouraging officers to use force against demonstrators and the press was doctored, according to police.

Police commissioner Johan Reimann has complained to DR, claiming that sound recordings which accompanied the TV pictures were incomplete and taken out of context. He also said that the video footage shown did not match up with events described in the programme’s voiceover.

According to Reimann, a clip of a police commander telling officers to “swing their truncheons until they get red hot” was edited together with another unconnected snippet which called for the press to receive “the same treatment”. He also disputed a claim made on DR’s website and other programmes that a “direct order” was given to beat up members of the press.

“This is completely unacceptable as it makes it impossible for us to defend ourselves against the charges,” the statement from the police read.

Reiman, who believes DR violated journalistic ethics by failing to present their footage to the police before the broadcast, said he is prepared to take the matter to the press council. DR is yet to comment on the allegations.

More than 1,000 people were arrested in Copenhagen during the 2009 conference.