Socialist Worker

Police officer beat black woman 34 times—but he isn’t facing assault charges

by Sophie Squire
Issue No. 2753

The cases reveal the nature of the police

Such cases reveal the nature of the police


A Metropolitan police officer has been found guilty of gross misconduct after beating a young black woman with learning disabilities 34 times with a baton in east London.

Benjamin Kemp, who was based at the MPS north command has now been dismissed from the police force after facing a disciplinary panel.

But he isn't facing assault charges.

The panel heard that the 17 year old woman—who won’t be named to protect her identity—had broken away from an escorted walk after becoming distressed.

She then flagged down a police car to ask for help. The young woman, who was in distress, informed the police officers that she had mental health issues and was vulnerable.

She was then handcuffed by Kemp. When she resisted she was sprayed in the face at very close range with CS spray. Kemp then moved on to repeatedly beat her with a baton.

When another police unit arrived, the woman was immediately Tasered by an officer from that vehicle. The tame Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the six-month investigation found the officer who used the Taser “had no case to answer for use of force”.

But there was a case for misconduct and he received “management action” in August last year.

Beatings

After the beatings, the young woman’s mother as well as a number of NHS workers made a complaint to the IOPC.

The woman’s cousin, who was present at the hearing, told Bhatt Murphy solicitors, “having listened to two days of evidence I am shocked at the extent of force that my cousin was subjected to by Benjamin Kemp.

“Rather than helping her as he should have done, he violently assaulted her.

“Instead of showing any remorse, Kemp has spent the last two days trying to justify his actions. I am beyond happy that the panel entirely rejected his evidence.”

And the victim’s solicitor, Sophie Naftalin added, "There have been too many cases of disproportionate force being used by police officers upon members of the black community.

“We call on the Crown Prosecution Service to review its decision not to charge Kemp with assault”.

Perverting

Meanwhile, a Merseyside police officer who punched a man in the face four times has been convicted of actual bodily harm. The three police officers who attempted to cover up the assault have been convicted of perverting the course of justice.

But it’s not yet completely clear if they will be dismissed from the police.

In June 2019 police officer Darren McIntyre hit Mark Bamber in the face and in the ribs.

McIntyre’s colleagues Laura Grant and Lauren Buchanan-Lloyd decided to turn their body cameras off during the assault.

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McIntyre also mentioned the assault to another officer, Garrie Burke. None of them mentioned the punches when they later gave “inaccurate” statements about the arrest.

Analysis of the bodycam footage revealed Bamber had not done anything wrong before he was attacked.

A police spokesperson said the officers will now face internal proceedings that “could lead” to their dismissal

These incidents highlight and the racism, violence and corruption that are ingrained within the police force.

And while those that were affected in these cases may have received some small justice, countless more will not.

Incidents like these make building the protests against the new Tory police bill even more urgent.


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