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  • Monday, January 30, 2006

    On Ian Blair's comments: "His tactics are pathetic"

    Those the words of the sister of a man who died in police custody in 1995, responding to Ian Blair's comments on racism in the media. From The Voice:

    Brenda Weinberg – whose brother Brian Douglas died at Kennington police station in 1995 – is campaigning for the officers involved to be prosecuted, and slammed the police chief for his comments last Friday. “What can I say? It’s his way of ingratiating himself with the ethnic minority community" she said. “His tactics are pathetic," she added. “Because they will backfire anyway and it’s not the case. The press and police work together."
    This is an interesting report from the Guardian, from March 2001:
    There have been 1,000 deaths in police custody in the past 30 years - and only one officer has been convicted as a result. Simon Hattenstone reports on a film that exposes persistent racism at the heart of an institution.
    As the campaigns build around these two deaths, we discover more and more deaths in custody. In December 1995 Wayne Douglas was arrested for suspected burglary. He collapsed and died while detained at Brixton police station. In March 1996 Gambian asylum seeker Ibrahima Sey was forced to the ground, sprayed repeatedly with CS gas, and then held face down for 15 minutes. When he went totally limp and stopped breathing, an ambulance was called. He was dead by the time they reached the hospital. Ken Fero says he is not interested in making objective films. He knew whose side he was on from the start. "When we started investigating the cases, the facts were so clear that it was never a question of right and wrong, it was simply wrong, and a wrong that has been hidden." There are no interviews with police officers in the film. He says he would have happily interviewed the officers if he'd been allowed to.
    Perhaps when Ian Blair has his meeting with Charles Clarke, Mr Clarke could remind him of all these deaths in police custody. See all recent "A Logical Voice" posts


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