A victim of sexual assault and the infamous Metropolitan Police Southwark Sapphire Unit, is facing charges over a protest she made against the treatment she received when she reported her assault to the police.
Please join our members and show your solidarity at court.
More details on the disgraceful treatment by MPS Southwark Sapphire Unit here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22300360
Serious concerns are emerging about the “botched and violent” police counter-terrorist stop and subsequent arrest of a Black man in Greenwich, just over a week after the death of Drummer Lee Rigby. After Counter Terrorism police performed a ‘hard stop'(1) on the car Husani Williams’ was driving, he was arrested for possession of a Class A drug. Williams submitted a defence statement in which he denied the cocaine possession charge and the CPS took the decision this week to drop that charge. The London Campaign against Police and State Violence (2) (LCAPSV) are now demanding that SO15 (3), the Metropolitan Police Service Counter-Terrorism Command, and SO19 (4), MPS’ Specialist Firearms Command should face an independent inquiry into their “brutal and unnecessary” use of force.
On 1st June 2013, Williams was driving through Greenwich near the Woolwich Flyover. In the car with him were his brother, Asanti, and two female friends. At around 6pm, the car was brought to a ‘hard stop’ by armed officers in unmarked cars. The officers shot out the tyres, smashed the car side-windows, and proceeded to thrust their weapons into the faces of the Williams brothers. They then dragged him and the three passengers out of the car. Officers used Tasers and ‘pain compliance’ techniques on the men, who did not resist at any point. During the arrest officers accused the brothers of being terrorists, and are accused of having repeatedly racially abused them. At the time the arrest was reported in local newspapers (5).
Due to the severity of the injuries to his head, Asanti was taken to hospital on the insistence of Paramedics and no charges were made against him. The police explained that the car was targeted because it was linked with an address associated with the Lee Rigby murder. The address in question was that of Mr Williams’ cousin, a Black Muslim, who has not been approached by police to date.
Husani was charged with possession of a Class A drug, but crucially, despite the nature of the stop, was not charged with any offence relating to terrorism. A court hearing which took place in October put the trial back on a “warned list” (6) until April for unspecified reasons. In November, Husani pleaded not guilty. At a hearing at Woolwich Crown Court on 8th January, the Prosecution formally offered no evidence in respect of this charge.
A complaint about the way the Williams’ brothers were treated is currently being investigated and they are also currently preparing to pursue a civil case against the Metropolitan Police.
Kojo Kyerewaa, a member of LCAPSV said:
“This was an outrageous set of events. From the brutal and unnecessary aggression during the police operation and the dubious “intelligence” which led to it, to the shambolic handling of the court case. This raises serious questions about the professionalism and integrity of these institutions of law enforcement.
The Williams’ brothers ordeal happened one week after Lee Rigby’s murder, and all evidence points to the fact that this botched and violent assault was based on tenuous intelligence if not mere speculation with extreme racist abuse. It looks very much like a racist assault by the Police, which could have resulted in the death of an innocent man.”
Husani Williams said:
“The decision to drop the charge against me was a great relief. This entire criminal process has been a time of incredible stress and trauma on me and my family. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received so far and I’ll continue to demand answers and fight for justice.”
(1) A manoeuvre also used by armed police in the deaths of Azelle Rodney and Mark Duggan.
The London Campaign Against Police & State Violence (LCAPSV) celebrates with Jason as the spurious case against him of “obstructing the police” was dropped after just half a day in court. The case against him was heard at Camberwell Green Magistrate’s Court, where Jason’s supporters and members of LCAPSV maintained a presence both inside and outside the court throughout the proceedings.
After hearing the testimonies of the two police officers who began the assault on Jason on 9 June, the judge concluded that the evidence given was “conflicting and lacking in coherence”, and that clearly there had been no reasonable grounds for the search in the first place. The officers were unable to provide any evidence that there was anything specific to Jason or his behaviour that could have justified him being targeted for a drugs search – obviously the mere fact of being a black man in a phone box in Camberwell was enough to criminalise him in the eyes of these officers.
Although the case against Jason has been dismissed, the police have yet to answer for their violent assault against him. One of the officers has already admitted in court today to punching Jason in the head, deploying CS spray, and said he would have used his taser if he’d been able to reach it – and completely failed to give any credible justification for this level of force. Jason will be pursuing a civil claim against the police, and thanks everyone who has supported him so far. LCAPSV continues to stand with him, and to oppose police brutality and other forms of state violence.
On 1 June 2013, a group of friends driving through Woolwich in the early evening were intercepted by police officers apparently from the Met’s Counter Terrorism command, SO15. According to youth worker Husani Williams, who was driving the car, the officers shot out the tyres, smashed its windows and dragged him and his brother Asanti out of the car. Officers used tasers and ‘pain compliance’ techniques on the men, who say they did not resist.
Police told the two other passengers that the car had been targeted because it had come from an address associated with the Lee Rigby murder. The address in question was that of Mr Williams’ cousin, a black Muslim, who has not been approached by police to date.
Speaking to IRR News, Husani Williams stated: ‘I was in shock. The officers did not identify themselves, they just dragged me out of the car and held me down. At one point I asked them why they were doing this. They said, “We’ve got you down as Mr. Nasty, and this is what we do to Mr. Nasty”.’
One of the brothers, Asanti Williams, was taken straight to hospital as a result of the injuries sustained in the stop by police.
The arrest resulted in no charges relating to terrorism – the group were not even questioned about terrorism.
Husani has been charged with minor drugs offences. It seems likely his trial will not take place until spring next year. The Independent Police Complaints Commission is investigating the incident, but has said that its investigation will only get under way once criminal proceedings against Husani have finished.
Husani is being supported by the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence (LCAPSV). So far, the group has attended court in solidarity with Husani, and has helped to collect evidence from witnesses. LCAPSV supports the victims of police assault, and monitors the policing of communities, and of BME communities in particular.
On Wednesday 4th of September over twenty Londoners involved in LCAPSV gathered outside Woolwich Crown Court with banners and leaflets. This was to protest the case of Husani and Asante Williams, and all black men and women who have suffered as a result of the racism of the police.
The Williams brothers were the victims of a vicious attack by the Metropolitan police which resulted in lasting physical and mental damage to both men. On the 1st of June this year their car was attacked by armed officers, and both Husani and Asante were subjected to a prolonged assault. During the attack both men had racist abuse thrown at them by the armed officers in charge.
After realising their mistake in attacking the Williams brothers, the police planted drugs on Husani in order to justify the unjustifiable nature of their attack.
The police are yet to apologise for the attack, and for the abuse of their powers. They continue to pursue Husani for a false charge.
Husani was in court for a preliminary hearing to decide how his charge of possession would be managed. It seems likely that his trial will now not be heard until Spring next year, due to CPS mismanagement and the vague nature of the charge against him. We will continue to support him and his brother in their fight for justice, and against the racism of the police.
The fight for Husani and Asante Williams is the fight for Jason O’Connor, is the fight for Jamal Elsaaidi, and is the fight for all those who are oppressed by the police.
On 1st of June, Hasani and Asanti Williams, two black men were violently attacked by armed officers in Woolwich while driving home. At no time did the officers identify themselves. Instead they smashed the windows of their car, shot out its tires, and proceeded to beat both men with their guns, causing serious injuries to both brothers. Once out of the car, both Hasani and Asanti were subject to racist abuse and continued and prolonged assault, as well as tasering. At no point had either brother shown any sign resistance or attempt to fight back.
Asanti was taken to hospital and eventually released without charge or any explanation for what had happened. Hasani was arrested and taken to a police station where he was falsely charged with drug possession, for an item that had been planted on him by one of the armed officers. While in the station Hasani was denied a phone-call and surreptitiously refused his right to a lawyer or medical attention. Both men are still dealing with the emotional and physical damage that this racist police attack has inflicted on them and their family.
The police are now attempting to prosecute Hasani for a minor charge of possession, taking him to Crown Court for an offence that would usually result in a caution. This is their desperate attempt to justify the unjustifiable brutality of their attack on these brothers. Hasani’s case is being prosecuted at Woolwich Crown Court. We remember unprovoked police violence towards Jean Charles De Menezes, Mauro Demetrio, Mark Duggan, Ian Tomlinson and many others. We ask that all who are concerned about police brutality join this demonstration.
We demand justice for Hasani and Asanti!
Hasani has asked for people to come to the court from 9 to protest police violence, and offer moral support and friendly faces in the court.
Come to support him at Woolwich Crown Court, next door to HMP Belmarsh, Weston Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 0EB. Buses to the venue are: 244, 380, 672, 472. 177 is a walking distance away. A map can be found on the following link:
Policing, especially drug policing, disproportionately targets, prosecutes and punishes black people. This racist criminalization is perpetuated throughout the justice system, from racist stop and searches and arrests to harsher punishments and sentencing. We are working to bring people together to end this structural violence, fighting the conditions that keep it in place and supporting those targeted by it against victimization.
Jamal is being brought to court on conspiracy charges. His hearing starts at 10am on Monday 9th September and is scheduled to last for 5 days. It is our hope that it will be thrown out before then, but we need to be prepared to give our support. We want the court room to be filled on each day of the appearance. Come to support him at Woolwich Crown Court, next door to HMP Belmarsh, Weston Way, Thamesmead, London, SE28 0EB. Buses to the venue are: 244, 380, 672, 472. 177 is a walking distance away. A map can be found on the following link: