Socialist Worker

The state protects the cops

Issue No. 2581

Protest at the Pitchford inquiry into spy cops

Protest at the Pitchford inquiry into spy cops (Pic: Guy Smallman)

Within 70 minutes of coming into contact with the cops Rashan Charles was dead.

We know that two police officers were involved with the restraint and arrest of Rashan in east London in July.

We are not allowed to know the cops’ names.

A coroner ruled last week they have the right to remain anonymous at his inquest.

Mary Hassell said it was “necessary in the interests of justice.” Rashan’s family rightly described it as “outrageous”.

Meanwhile, we know that well over 1,000 organisations were spied on by undercover cops.

We know that they deliberately formed sexual relationships and had children with women in some of the groups.

We know they spied on the family of Stephen Lawrence.

We are not allowed to know the cops’ names.

The judge of the delayed inquiry into police infiltration said the real names of undercover officers “will generally not be published”.

Justice Mitting cited the officers’ health and a wish to maintain privacy as reasons for protecting their identities, and also for reasons of national security.

The inquiry started three years ago and no evidence has been heard.

Keeping the cops safe from scrutiny is a very British tradition which both the undercover inquiry and the Rashan Charles inquest seem determined to continue.

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