A TEENAGE political activist has accused armed police of being heavy-handed after he was arrested for scrawling on a shop wall during a demonstration.
Jed Miller, 19, of Compton Road, Colchester, was formally cautioned for criminal damage by police, after he wrote the words, “pay your taxes”, on a wall at Top Shop’s branch, in Lion Walk, Colchester.
Unemployed Mr Miller, who has Asperger’s syndrome, was taken into custody and spent 19 hours at Colchester police station before being freed. He admitted writing on the wall in washable paint, as part of a national campaign against companies activists claim should be paying more tax.
CCTV operators identified Mr Miller and a friend and he was stopped, searched and arrested by four police officers, armed with tasers and guns.
Mr Miller described his arrest as heavy-handed, explaining: “When I saw the police, I felt pretty terrified, to be honest.
“I didn’t know what they were going to do.
“They made me stand up and searched through all my things in front of the whole library. It was embarrassing and I felt completely humiliated.
“I had only used a water-based pen and I would have washed it off if they had asked me to. I certainly never meant to cause any permanent damage.”
An Essex Police spokesman confirmed Mr Miller was arrested by armed response officers, because they were the only officers available.
She said there were delays dealing with him because of operational commitments.