Socialist Worker

Protest in north London against police brutality highlights cops' statistics

Issue No. 2625

Protesters stand up to police racism and brutality on Tuesday night

Protesters stand up to police racism and brutality on Tuesday night (Pic: Guy Smallman)


Cops in London used force over 40,000 times in the first five months of the 2018/2019 financial year, according to their own figures. That’s compared to almost 25,000 times in the same period last financial year.

Use of force ranges from handcuffing to the use of stun guns, CS spray and batons.

The figures paint an alarming picture of the Met police running amok.

And disproportionately on the receiving end of the cops’ violence are young black people. For the time period selected this financial year, 39 percent of the victims of police violence were black.

An example of this came last week. Six cops pinned down a black man while arresting him in Harlesden in the north London borough of Brent. In a viral video of the attack the man can be heard to say, “I can’t breathe” as officers kneel on his back.

In the London borough of Brent there were 2,482 incidents of force being used in the first five months of this financial year. That’s compared to 1,582 in the same period last year.

Brutality

A solidarity protest against police brutality was held by the north west London Stand Up To Racism (SUTR) group on Tuesday night at the scene of last week’s attack. Up to 50 people attended, including local Labour Party members.

Brian Richardson from SUTR said, “Time and time again black people are brutalised, but when they fight back they are condemned.

“We have to keep standing in solidarity like this. We have to keep protesting.”

He called on people to “go back to your communities, workplaces and colleges and build this movement against racism.”

A key part of doing that is the anti-racism conference in central London on 20 October. It’s also important that people come out to oppose the fascists and racists when they march under the banner of the Democratic Football Lads Alliance this Saturday.

In response to the figures from the Met Police Labour MP David Lammy said, “Systemic racism still permeates each stage of the criminal justice system. More needs to be done to root out this bias.”

To debate the way forward for the anti-racist movement come to the Stand Up To Racism conference in central London on 20 October. 

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