This Tuesday, D once again needs your support and help.
D, a victim of police brutality has had his charges dropped from assaulting a police officer to “obstructing a constable during a drug search”.
He has opted to take it a Crown Court which means he faces a possible unlimited fine and 2 years of imprisonment but he also will have a jury to decide if he is innocent or not.
Far from obstructing a police officer, D maintains that he willingly went to the floor and the Territorial Support Group officers proceed to attack and kick him leaving him with a cracked rib and then locking him up for 23 hours.
No drugs were found as he maintains that he had none on him.
The Police often put victims of their violence on trial to delay or reduce the possibility of any complaints or civil charges being brought against them.
‘I can’t understand why they were trying to force me to the ground and why the officer was spraying me in the face when I was bent down and then why he attacked me so violently with a baton.’
We are concerned about the recent assault of a local African Caribbean man by Thames Valley Police officers. Andrew Moore was viewing a car for sale on Lansdale Road just by Desborough Road High Wycombe yesterday the 7th of July where he got into a small dispute with the owner who called the police.
When the police arrived – one male and one female officer he was questioned and was asked to ‘drop to the floor’ which he refused to do. He was grabbed by the male officer who attempted to kick him and then was bent down forcefully by a shed/unit where he was continuously pepper sprayed by the male officer who also tried to spray the crowd that had gathered. As he got himself upright he was then viciously assaulted by the same officer with a baton despite members of the public asking him to stop as he was not offering any resistance at this point.
A short statement from Andrew after he was released from the police station:
Justice4Paps feel that the level of force that was used was extremely excessive and completely disproportionate to the situation that the officers found themselves in. There was no regard for the fact that there was a small child in the shed/unit and that there was in the unit next door a group of vulnerable
adults with learning difficulties all of whom were extremely distressed by what they saw and heard.
Andrew himself has been traumatised by the experience and was visibly shaken up when we met him.
‘We have spoken to Andrew and local people who witnessed this brutal attack yesterday and he and communities in the Desborough Road are in shock of what has happened. We need to ask would he have been treated the same way if he had been white and if this had taken place in the Eden Shopping Centre or do the police feel that they can visit this level of violence on people from non-white communities in our areas without there being any comeback or rebuke?
Zia Ullah, Justice4Paps
Andrew is currently reviewing his options which include making a formal complaint against the officers involved in the assault against him. In the context of the complaints against police brutality that Justice4Paps have highlighted over the last 18 months and the deaths of Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah in 2008 and Marcus Cottoy in 2009 High Wycombe and Philmore Mills in 2011 in Slough, it is clear that there are STILL many lessons to be learnt. Thames Valley Police need to ensure that they police communities in ways that are respectful and lawful – if police officers then fail to do this they need to be held to account.
Thames Valley Police say:
On Monday (7/7) at 1pm Thames Valley Police officers were called to a report of a criminal damage and assault at the car wash off Desborough Road, High Wycombe. Officers subsequently arrested a man at around 1.20pm at the scene for public order offences.
Supt Ed McLean, Local Policing Area Commander for Wycombe, said: “Having reviewed the incident, it is clear that my officers were faced with a challenging and difficult situation.
“A man who was identified to the officers was non-compliant and was actively resisting arrest. The officers were faced with a large crowd who at times, appeared extremely hostile and were, in my view, inflaming an already difficult situation.
“I am aware that the actions of my officers were captured and have been uploaded onto social media.
“Concerns were raised to me about the conduct of my officers and as a result a full investigation has been opened which is being overseen by our Professional Standards Department. We have subsequently received a formal complaint with regard to this incident from the man in question and that is also being investigated.
“I would like to point out that my officers consistently display the highest levels of professionalism and they understand the needs and expectations of our communities in displaying those values at all times.
“As there is an ongoing criminal investigation, it would be inappropriate for further comment on this matter at this stage.”
The 43-year-old man arrested has been bailed until 5 August to appear at High Wycombe police station.’
Call out for all against police brutality and racism to support D, a victim of police violence!
On Monday 23rd June 2014, D, a black man from Brixton was assaulted by police officers from the Territorial Support Group and he sustained a cracked rib. The officers jumped out of a van, and claimed they saw him make a drug deal. D states that the officers saw him talk with his Uncle outside McDonalds while he was in his car, but this chance family encounter was found to be sinister in the eyes of the police officers. When D realised that the police were extraordinarily aggressive, he voluntarily put himself on the ground with his hands behind his back expecting to be handcuffed. The officers instead started attacking and kicking him. Rather than questioning and searching him, the police brutalised D and his cousin, and when they didn’t find any drugs they charged him with “assaulting a police officer”. D spent almost 24 hours in a cell while suffering from cracked ribs.
D is facing a hearing about this spurious charge on Tuesday at Camberwell Green Magistrates’ Court, he would appreciate as much support as he can get.
D’s case is yet another example of racist police violence in South London. The London Campaign Against Police & State Violence aims to make the Metropolitan Police accountable for these abuses of power and offers support to victims of police violence. If you saw what happened, want to help or want more information, contact LCAPSV@GMAIL.COM
Join the Anti Raids Network and the London Campaign Against Police and State Violence to watch and discuss Ken Fero’s documentary Justice Denied. Fero follows the stories of Joy Gardner, Kwanele Siziba and Joseph Nnalue, three people who died in connection with immigration controls.
Location: Brixton Community Base (Lower Hall), Talma Rd, London SW2 1AS
(50 minutes/l995/Director Ken Fero/Migrant Media)
On the 28th July 1993 Joy Gardner died when police and deportation officers used force to restrain her, tying her with a body belt and ankle straps and gagging her mouth with thirteen feet of tape. There was a national outcry when people heard how Joy had died. ‘Justice Denied ‘ hears from members of her family about Joy’s death, reports on the reactions to it in the Black community, examines two other deaths related to immigration control, that of Kwanele Siziba and Joseph Nnalue, and asks what are the political circumstances that allow these deaths to happen.
The film follows the struggle of Joy’s family in their fight for justice and for the truth to be exposed. The film examines how the media carried out a character assassination of Joy in order to justify the way in which she was killed and how this fed into a widespread cover-up.The highly controversial documentary asks why senior police officers and the immigration service did not face charges for their involvement in this controversial incident. Throughout ‘Justice Denied’ the families speak out to keep the memory of their loved ones alive, to demand justice and to challenge the climate of fear created by Britain’s enforcement of immigration controls.
Two years ago this arrest with sickening force was filmed in Brixton, we want to stop aggressive and unlawful checks from being carried out.
LCAPSV wants to reduce the abuse of Stop & Search in Brixton and will be organising police monitoring groups in the near future. If you want to get involved, want to be able to spot unlawful police behaviour or just want to know what to do when you or a friend is stopped by the police. This training will help.
We will be offering refreshments but spaces are limited so please confirm your attendance by contacting us here, on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Is racial profiling being carried out by counter-terrorism police in South London following the death of Lee Rigby?
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.