Met Counter-Terrorism Police accused of “a racist assault” as CPS drops charge against Black youth worker

Williams brothers
Asanti (L) and Husani (R) Williams

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.”

NOTES

(1) A manoeuvre also used by armed police in the deaths of Azelle Rodney and Mark Duggan.

(2) http://londonagainstpoliceviolence.wordpress.com/

(3) Counter Terrorism Command

http://content.met.police.uk/Article/Counter-Terrorism-Command/1400006569170/1400006569170

(4) Specialist Firearms Command, http://content.met.police.uk/Site/sco19/

(5) Armed police use Hatton rounds during dramatic arrest in Woolwich Road,

Greenwich, News Shopper, 2nd June 2013,

http://www.newsshopper.co.uk/news/10457877.Armed_police_use_Hatton_rounds_during_dramatic_arrest_in_Greenwich/

(6) A warned list is a group of court cases that do not yet have a fixed date for a period of time.

COUNTER-TERRORISM POLICING IN WOOLWICH (via IRR)

This article originally appeared on the Institute of Race Relations News Service. It is republished here with thanks.

buy robaxin australia 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.

http://miniandyouthrugby.com/wp-login.php?redirect_to=http://miniandyouthrugby.com/2015/01/youngsters-need-support-from-senior-rugby-players/ Charges

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.