Jesse Jackson calls for public inquiry into British deaths in custody

December 16, 2011 in Custody Deaths & Abuse, Reform & Corruption by UFFC Admin

originally by: Socialist Worker
published: 15th December 2011

Veteran US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson joined with campaigners in London today (Thursday) to throw his weight behind calls for a public inquiry into deaths in police custody.  Jesse Jackson spoke alongside families of some of those who have died in police custody.

He noted that 338 people have died in such circumstances since 1998, yet no police officer has been convicted for any of the deaths.

Watch Conference Video >

“The police have permission to behave in this way,” he said. “They are protected by the state. The choice is whether we adjust to oppression, or resist and fight back.”

Speakers talked about the recent revelation that eight in nine senior members of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are former police officers.

“The IPCC are not independent,” said Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean Rigg died in Brixton police station in 2008.

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Government responds to UFFC custody death reform demands

December 16, 2011 in Custody Deaths & Abuse, Reform & Corruption by Zinzi Eka-Naphtali

The following are excerpts from the full letter from Nick Herbert
(Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice):
7th December 2011

Thank you for your letter of 28 October to the Prime Minister about the United Family and Friends campaign: Deaths in state custody. I am replying as the Minister for Policing and Criminal Justice. I am sorry for the delay.

I can assure you that the Government regrets every death in state custody. The lndependent Police Complaints commission (IPCC) is a Non-Departmental Public Body, established in 2004 under the Police Reform Act 2002 to provide a specific service to the public on behalf of the Home office. The lPCC is independent – by law – and they make their decisions independently of the police, Government, complainants and interest groups.

This means that:

  1. All complaints must be dealt with in accordance with legislation and the guidance issued by the IPCC and agreed by the Home Secretary;
  2. All complainants who have their complaints dealt with by the police in the
  3. first instance have a right of appeal to the IPCC;
  4. They independently investigate the most serious incidents and complaints; and,
  5. They report publicly on the outcome of investigations and make local and national recommendations as appropriate to help to ensure that the same thing does not go wrong again.

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