The police officers responsible for two shocking recent arrests in Tower Hamlets, east London, “should not be part of the police force”, a youth worker told a rally last Saturday.
Cops had arrested his colleague Zakaria Hussain, putting him in a headlock. The arrest was filmed, and went viral on social media.
So did that of 13 year old Katelynn Murphy King outside a school. A police officer dragged her to the floor by her hair and sat on her.
Katelynn’s grandmother, Joan, told Socialist Worker, “She had nine injuries over her body. If I or anyone else had done that to her the police would arrest us—what gives them the right to act like that? I told them we’re not going to accept this.”
Hajira is one of the teenagers who use the Arbor Youth Centre run by Zak. She told Socialist Worker, “We saw them brutalise him. No-one should be treated like that. The police have to change—and that’s why we’re protesting.”
The campaign has support from across Tower Hamlets’ politics—from Labour mayor John Biggs to councillor Rabina Khan who opposed him in last year’s mayoral election.
Tower Hamlets Stand Up To Racism co-hosted the rally.
School student Gabriel said, “What the police do isn’t right, and if we stand together we can make a difference.”