Our new monthly event: Fruitvale Film Club @ The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross Gate

ffc

Date: Sunday 25th October
Time: 3pm
Location: The Field, 385 Queens Road, New Cross Gate, London SE14 5HD
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/510175549149361/

We are putting on a monthly free film screening at “The Field” in New Cross, to provide a space where it is possible to share and discuss experiences of police and state brutality. This could include mental harassment through – for example – constant stop and search, or physical violence.

Anyone and everyone is welcome at this event.

This month, to kick off, we will be showing Fruitvale Station which depicts in moving and shocking detail, the last day on the planet of Oscar Grant (played by Wire star Michael B. Jordan), a 22-year-old son, friend, partner and father of one little girl, who was shot dead, unarmed, by subway police at Fruitvale Station in Oakland, California in the early hours of New Year’s Day 2009.

F.F.C. takes place at “The Field” in New Cross on the last Sunday of every month at 3pm and will last a few hours.

Trailer for Fruitvale Station: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ceVVVils8z4

For more details contact us

Our full comment on Black People being Tasered: the police are a racist power structure

On Tuesday’s online edition of The Guardian, we were quoted on this story: Black people ‘three times more likely’ to be Tasered

We produce our full unedited comment here in full:

What is it about England’s 43 police forces that their officers are three times more likely to use tasers on Black people than white people?
Put this violence in a context where in Britain today, Black people are more likely to be stopped and searched, arrested, charged and sent to prison than white people.  It is clear, that 16 years after the Macpherson report, the police and the criminal justice system still have a problem with black people.
Nor is there any recourse for black people, as our research showed that over last year when Black people did complain to the Metropolitan Police about racial discrimination, zero complaints were upheld. While publicly displayed racist attitudes are seen as less acceptable, systemic racist outcomes are continued to be pursued without accountability.
It’s also important to remember that police usage of tasers in England have caused a number of fatalities [1, 2], which means the police are disproportionately targeting black people with potentially lethal force.
This racial bias cannot be blamed on individual rotten apples, the consistency of disproportionate racist outcomes means that the entire barrel is suspect. Even the head of Metropolitan Black Police officers Association last year stated that she believed the police are “institutionally racist”. It appears that only people who don’t believe the police are a racist power structure, are white police officers.
We need radical structural reform of the police and the criminal justice system, not merely tough talking against officers using racial slurs. Many members of the black community has little faith that the police can be anything other than racist, this is further evidence to that.
END

ACQUITTED: Falsely Accused Black Woman found not guilty of assaulting a PC

On Monday, a few LCAPSV supporters went to Stratford Magistrates Court to support, “K”, a young professional black woman who was falsely accused of assaulting a police officer who was questioning her about a road traffic incident that she was involved in.

The evidence against K was flimsy and we believe the charge by the officer to be a malicious prosecution which may have been racially motivated.

K is very relieved and grateful for all the support LCAPSV has provided and is considering her legal options.

If you know anyone who has may have been maliciously prosecuted or victimised by the police then please get in touch.

Metropolitan Police not racist (says Metropolitan Police)

The Guardian today published an article indicating that between April 2014 and March 2015 the Metropolitan Police faced 245 complaints of racial discrimination, and found no case to answer for any of them. This means that in none of those cases did the investigating officer think that his/her accused colleague had acted in an inappropriate manner. Even in the case of the three officers from Greenwich, and the two from Lewisham, who had four complaints of racial discrimination made against them in a single year alone, no disciplinary action has taken place.

This article was based on an investigation carried out by the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence. We were appalled – but not surprised – by this data, and do not expect anybody else to be. We knew what we would find before we even started. This is because, under the current system of police oversight, local forces are allowed – indeed expected – to investigate themselves. In the few cases where the IPCC are involved in the investigation, they generally play a hand’s-off role, supervising or managing local investigations, rather than undertaking them themselves. In any case, we know we can expect little from the IPCC when they are overwhelmingly staffed with former police officers. This is not a situation that can ever lead to justice or transparency.

Not mentioned in the Guardian article are the results of complaints about other forms of discrimination: based on religion, gender, sexuality, mental health, age, disability. Though the dataset is more limited (fewer people made complaints according to these categories), the outcome of these complaints makes for equally bleak reading. In one sole instance across all these categories has any officer been found to have a case to answer (mental health, Kensington and Chelsea). And even in this single case, the Metropolitan Police admit that no action was taken against the officer in question.

We think that the Metropolitan Police now have urgent and unavoidable questions to answer about the integrity and purpose of their complaints process. Given the likelihood of action being taken in response to complaints of discrimination is next to nothing, who is the complaints system serving? Given we don’t allow criminals to investigate themselves for crimes of which they are accused, why should we allow police to investigate themselves? Given even senior officers in the force admit the police as a whole is institutionally racist, how are they possibly best qualified to judge themselves on this question? Why, then, do we continue allow the police to investigate themselves? It is time that we take the powers of investigation out of their hands, and put it back in the hands of the communities that are most effected by the rotten system of more or less explicit racism, violence, and state endorsed coercion that the police preside over.

You can find the full data and breakdown here:

Discrimination Complaints Mar14-Feb15

Support a Black Woman Falsely Accused of Assaulting a PC

lcapsv_stratford

Date: Monday 12th October
Time: 1pm
Venue: Stratford Magistrates’ Court, 389-397 High St, London E15 4SB
Facebook event

“I was ashamed and treated like a criminal when I did not commit a crime.” – K

“K”, a young black woman and student, was a passenger in a road traffic accident with a friend a few months ago. When police officers arrived at the scene, “K” says “they treated us like criminals instead of following proper protocol.”

K continued:

“I was very on edge as I felt they had made assumptions based on our race and didn’t even take anything into consideration. I chose to keep my distance from the officers to avoid confrontation. Before I knew it one officer had crept towards me and tried to step into my personal space, as he did so I stepped backward raising my arm to separate him from me but without making physical contact. Within seconds the officer claimed I had to push him and later stated I had done so in his chest with both arms though this was impossible because I had my mobile phone in my hand.”

This accusation by the police officer resulted in “K” being arrested and charged with assault of Police Constable.

We believe “K” has a strong case and supporting evidence to support her story against the officer and that it is highly probable that the officer’s actions were malicious. If found guilty, “K” will face a fine, a criminal record endangering her career and future prospects and a possible prison sentence.

In our experience, the police do this a lot to young and particularly black people. A false claim against of police assault can be made against anyone who the police officer happens not to like.

Please support “K” by sharing this story and if possible attending her support rally at Stratford Magistrates’ Court on Monday 12th October at 1pm. For more details, contact us via e-mail: LCAPSV (at) GMAIL (dot) COM