Tag Archives: race relations

Other Politics

I’m away for a while, curating Media Diversified’s Other Politics series. Check it out.

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A Lawful Killing

Lawful, adj. allowed, recognised or santioned by law, legal. 

The jury’s decision in the inquest into the killing of Mark Duggan is to be respected, of course, because the legal process has been followed. But so many don’t seem to understand the dismay and consternation this has caused in the Black community.

So many questions remain unanswered. I cannot imagine the pain of the Duggan family, who had the double blow of losing their loved one and then having misinformation put out to the media by the IPCC and the police, which was left uncorrected for weeks. And in that time, no one in the police paid them the basic courtesy of a visit to tell them that Mark had been killed.

A lot of the facts of the case have been obscured by the sense that Mark was a criminal. However, his family maintain that this has been overblown – he got into trouble, but was certainly no gangster. But even if he was, he didn’t have a gun and was shot dead. A mistake no doubt that will weigh on the conscience of the police marksman.

But with so many things unclear and so much having been messed up, doubts cloud the case. Stafford Scott, a family supporter and local activist, wrote this clear, hardhitting article for the Guardian, outlining the oustanding issues.

“It feels as if we are living in a parallel universe from mainstream society. What is seen as justice by the mainstream is experienced as injustice by the marginalised.” – Stafford Scott

And in the Independent, Yasmin Alibhai Brown points out why this matters.

“What is practised on one group, is then extended to everyone else. Remember that. In 2009, Ian Tomlinson died after being hit by a policeman. When the children of the middle classes were tyrannised by cops during student demos over fees, their parents felt what many black families regularly feel.”

It was just in December that Tory MP Charles Walker highlighted the shameful statistics on the deaths of Black people in police custody:

“We have allowed the causes of these deaths to go unaddressed… If we are to bring this community closer to us, we need to understand the hurt we have caused in this place and institutions of the state have caused.”

Mark Duggan joins a sad roll call of Black people who have died at the hands of the police (Cynthia Jarrett, Roger Sylvester and more) who have not, in the eyes of the community, received justice.

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