Socialist Worker

Vigil marks month since death of Mohamud Hassan after contact with 52 cops

by Sam Ord
Issue No. 2742

A projection on to the police station

A projection on to the police station (Pic: Cardiff Black Lives Matter)


Around 80 people gathered for a vigil outside Butetown police station in Cardiff on Tuesday to commemorate one month since the death of Mohamud Hassan.

Since then, the tame Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has released information that Hassan came into contact with 52 police officers during his time in custody.

Bianca Ali from Cardiff Black Lives Matter told Socialist Worker, “I didn’t know there were even 52 officers at the station, how on Earth does that happen? He was released black and blue, it doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots.

Bianca said the vigil “was really important, especially because Mohamud wasn’t given the funeral he should have had because of Covid-19. The police monitoring the vigil were very disrespectful, talking and laughing among themselves.

“Everyone was sad and emotional, I had a lump in my throat when I was speaking. This is because of the realisation that it’s been a month since his life was taken, he didn’t just die, he was murdered.”

Justice

A projection saying “Justice for Mohamud” and “Killed by South Wales Police” was displayed on the police station frontage. Attendees held a “Justice for Mohamud Hassan” banner.

Hassan died after he was held in police custody overnight in January following an alleged disturbance of the peace. He was later released without charge and died that night.

Lawyer Hilary Brown from Virgo Consultancy, who is representing the family, said Hassan’s family was deeply concerned by the new information provided to them by the IOPC regarding police contact.

“They are understandably disturbed by it,” said Brown. “There are allegations of excessive force and to hear that Hassan was subject to this level of police contact has been really upsetting and then not to be given any further information about this, the contact, was really difficult and completely unfair.”

Demanding the truth

Demanding the truth (Pic: Cardiff Black Lives Matter)


Around 30,000 people have signed a petition calling on the IOPC to release documents and CCTV footage detailing the contact between police officers and Mohamud.

Hassan's aunt, Zainab Hassan, said she saw her 24-year-old nephew within one hour of his release.

“He had lots of wounds on his body and lots of bruises,” she said.

“He didn't have these wounds when he was arrested and when he came out of Cardiff Bay police station, he had them.

“Nothing we do is going to bring him back, but we will not rest for a second until we have justice.”

Bianca was fined £1,000 by South Wales Police for allegedly organising the demonstrations over Hassan’s death that erupted last month. She said, “We will not stop fighting for justice, we will win.”

Bianca also claims that the police have been patrolling her cul-de-sac on foot, for the first time ever, following the vigil.

Several protesters at a solidarity demonstration for Hassan in London last month were fined £200 for breaking Covid-19 restrictions.

But protesters will not give up their fight for justice.

Sign the petition here

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