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

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.

Report From Woolwich Crown Court, 4th September

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.

September 4th: Defend a Black Man Brutally Attacked By Armed 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:

Train stations are: Woolwich Arsenal DLR and Plumstead Rail Station

Facebook event page can be found here.