Socialist Worker

Another black man dies after contact with police

by Alistair Farrow
Issue No. 2595

A vigil was held for KC on Monday

A vigil was held for KC on Monday (Pic: Guy Smallman)


A man has died after coming into contact with the police in Catford, south east London, last Friday.

Police have said they restrained the man after he was seen trying to access the back gardens of houses on Polsted Road in the London borough of Lewisham.

Kevin, known as KC to friends, was black.

Black people are more likely to die after coming into contact with the police.

His friends attended a vigil on Monday night. Some of them told Socialist Worker he was “happy, friendly. He’d give you his last £5 if you needed it.”

KC’s sister said on Monday night, “We had to hear about his death on the news.

“They’re trying to silence us. We’re not going to be quiet about it because Kevin loved everyone. He had nothing but love in his heart.”

Questions

Husani agreed. “KC was the nicest guy in the world,” he said, but pointed out that “people are dying and no-one’s going to jail.”

Eyewitness Sam’s version of events raises questions about the police’s conduct.

Sam was in his bedroom when a neighbour knocked on his front door and said there was a man trying to get into people’s gardens.

He said, “I immediately went out the back, concerned about what he said. I could see there was a man stumbling along the fences, clearly not in a good state.

“He was unresponsive and didn’t really know where he was. He was stopped in this area just outside the back of our house.

“The police were there a few minutes later. Lots of police came—one vehicle came, then another. In the end there was about five vehicles there and around ten officers.”

Sam said the police went down a side alley to a playing field behind the houses where the man was.

Restrained

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) statement said “the man was restrained at the location” by the police and later died at Lewisham hospital.

The IOPC’s statement also stresses that the man “became unwell while paramedics were at the scene”.

But why did he need to be restrained?

Sam said that from what he saw, the man was distressed, but not violent and didn’t pose a threat to people.

Sam said, “If it was a medical emergency why didn’t they just put him straight on a stretcher, bundle him through the alleyway and blue light him straight to the hospital?

“It started off as a guy stumbling around.

“The police came to deal with it and it ended up with him dead. Something’s happened there on that field.”


Infestation for detainees

Detainees have been kept in Britain’s largest immigration removal centre for as long as four years, a new report has revealed.

They have been held in “prison-like” conditions at the Harmondsworth immigration removal centre near Heathrow Airport in west London for unacceptably lengthy periods, inspectors said.

The findings were detailed by HM Inspectorate of Prisons.

It is the largest detention site of its kind in Europe, holding up to 676 male detainees.

It is run for the Home Office by outsourcer Mitie.

In other findings, the inspectorate said that many areas at the centre were dirty, that bedbugs were “endemic” and there were infestations of mice in some places.

And in nine out of ten cases examined, the Home Office accepted evidence that detainees had been tortured prior to coming to Britain but kept in detention regardless.


Jailings for Reker’s attackers

Six men have been given jail sentences in relation to the brutal assault on asylum seeker Reker Ahmed in Croydon, south London, last March.

George Walder, Lliam Neylon, Ben Harman and George Jeffrey were jailed for 50 months.

Kurt Killick was jailed for 40 months and James Neves was given a 28 month sentence.

Judge Adam Hiddlestone said he was confident that Walder said to Reker Ahmed and his friends, “You are asylum seekers. You are refugees. You need to go back to your own country.”

Hiddlestone described this as “racial hostility”.

Cops say as many as 20 people were involved in the assault. Seventeen people were arrested in total, 14 of these were subsequently charged.

The attack left Reker with life threatening injuries.

Cops said that when they first discovered Reker his injuries were so severe they expected the case to be a murder investigation.

Reker told the court in a victim statement that since the attack he has had flashbacks and has tried to kill himself.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.