UK media’s cozy ties to police

July 23, 2011 in Reform & Corruption by Tippa Naphtali

originally by: Reuters
12th July 2011

“The basic test of a decent police force is that it catches more criminals than it employs.”

That adage, coined by Robert Mark, a Metropolitan Police Commissioner in the 1970s, might just as easily be applied to another profession with a similar stake in the public’s trust — investigative journalism. In the wake of the UK’s hacking scandal, the British public seems to have reason for concern on both counts.

The scandal that began at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World tabloid has tarnished the media magnate and British politicians alike. It has also exposed the sometimes cozy, sometimes sinister relationship between parts of Fleet Street and Scotland Yard, the British capital’s legendary police force.

An independent police complaints watchdog is investigating media allegations that News of the World reporters paid tens of thousands of pounds in “bungs,” or bribes, to police officers for information about celebrities, royals and other story subjects.

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Call for police to wear body cameras after custody death

July 7, 2011 in Custody Deaths & Abuse by Larry Fedja

originally by: Birmingham Mail
7th July 2011

Tippa Naphtali was 41 when his cousin Mikey Powell died in police custody. The fight to learn the truth about what really happened on the night of September 7, 2003, caused Tippa to quit his job in London and return to Birmingham. Eight years later, the Yardley-based charity worker is still searching for justice.

The online petition is available for signatures here >

While a criminal trial against the police officers involved collapsed due to lack of evidence, an inquest jury last year found that Mr Powell died from the position he was placed in the police van.

The same inquest ruled that there were “police failings” in how the 38-year-old father of two, who had a history of mental illness, was arrested. In particular, they said he became more vulnerable after being sprayed with CS gas, hit by a moving police car and restrained on the ground.

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Hundreds march in Birmingham seeking justice over black deaths

July 4, 2011 in Civil Unrest, Protest, Custody Deaths & Abuse by Tippa Naphtali

originally by: Voice Online
3rd July 2011

More than 1,000 people took to the streets of Birmingham yesterday (Saturday) in a march for justice to show their support for the grieving family of Kingsley Burrell and many other young men who have died after coming into contact with police. The three-hour march ended in an angry rally outside West Midlands Police headquarters in the city centre where protesters vented their fury.

March organisers urged the crowd to sign an online petition to demand a full public inquiry into the deaths of Burrell, reggae singer Smiley Culture, who died in March, and many others.

Maxie Hayles, who chairs the Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit (BRAMU) called for a war memorial for those who have died in police custody.

“We must have this because war has been declared on us,” he said. “This is a state of emergency because our young people have been brutalised for far too long.

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