Socialist Worker

Bloody history of the police

Issue No. 2212

Ian Tomlinson is the latest in a long line of people killed by the police on the streets of London.

  • Blair Peach was an east London teacher.

    He was killed protesting against a National Front meeting in the predominantly Asian area of Southall, west London.

    At least three protesters were hit so hard by police that their skulls fractured. Blair Peach was one of them. His killers still walk free.

  • Kevin Gateley was murdered by police on a demonstration in London’s Red Lion Square on 15 June 1974.

    The demonstration, called to oppose a National Front meeting, was the first he’d ever been on. Kevin died from a police baton blow to the head.

  • At 10.06am on 22 July 2005 Jean Charles de Menezes sat down on a tube train in Stockwell, south London.

    Two police officers fired seven bullets into his head and one into his neck. They said they thought he was a terrorist.

  • Two police officers shot Harry Stanley in September 1999 as he was walking home in Hackney, east London.

    They claimed they thought the chair leg Harry was carrying in a plastic bag was a shotgun.

  • Since 1971 there have been more than 1,000 deaths in police custody. Not one police officer has ever been successfully prosecuted as a result.

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