Why Do the Police Exist?

20 June 2020 — Novara Media

Cops

by Connor Woodman

“The police do not prevent crime. This is one of the best kept secrets of modern life. Experts know it, the police know it, but the public does not know it.” – David Bayley, academic expert on the police, 1996

As we witness uniformed police officers pepper spray a seven-year-old in the United States or arrest a black ambulance driver in the UK, we have to ask: why does the police exist?

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Racist Policing Accelerated During the Pandemic. Mounting Protests Could See It Get Even Worse

4 June 2020 — Novara Media

by Sophie Hemery @SophieHemery

Dwayne Francis was racially profiled and detained by police in London last month, while on his way to work in a secondary school.

“The rhetoric is always the same,” he said, describing how police routinely tell black people: “You fit the description of someone who has committed a crime, this is a high crime area, we can smell cannabis, you are a drug dealer because of the car you drive or the clothes you’re wearing.”

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The UK is Not Innocent – Police Racism Has a Long and Violent History Here Too

1 June 2020 — Novara Media

John Sibley/Reuters

by Wail Qasim

@WailQ

“I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe, I can’t breathe.” This desperate refrain has once again become the dying words of yet another black man in the United States.

Memories of the New York City Police Department officer administering a lethal headlock on Eric Garner have barely faded since his death in 2014. In the years that followed, as protest and movement-building swept across North America, the words would come to take on their own life in solidarity with Garner and the countless other black men and women who have died following contact with the police.

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Spycops Update, May 2020

19 May 2020 — SpyCops

Here’s this month’s news from the campaign for truth and justice about Britain’s political secret police.

PUBLIC INQUIRY DELAYS

The Undercover Policing Inquiry is aiming to have the first hearings in September, having abandoned the June ones, which seems overly optimistic.

With coronavirus restrictions still in place, the Inquiry office has reopened for staff who feel safe to come in. However, the Chair, Sir John Mitting, won’t be among them, so will not have access to secure material. The police lawyers’ office is closed indefinitely, and without them ready it seems unlikely anything will happen any time soon.
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Metropolitan Police impose London-wide ban on Extinction Rebellion protests as arrests top 1,500 By Chris Marsden

16 October 2019 — WSWS

Extinction Rebellion (XR) activists yesterday defied a London-wide ban on protests by the Metropolitan Police (Met). The basis cited for the ban Monday evening was a revised Section 14 order, of the Public Order Act, stipulating that by 9:00 p.m., “any assembly linked to the Extinction Rebellion ‘autumn uprising’…must now cease their protests within London.”

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Police still not investigating Leave campaigns, citing ‘political sensitivities’

11 October 2018 — Open Democracy

James Cusick and Adam Ramsay

Exclusive: Months after Scotland Yard received ‘substantial’ evidence of potential criminality by pro-Leave groups, nothing has happened. Is the police probe destined for the political long-grass?

The Metropolitan Police has stalled the launch of any criminal investigation into three pro-Brexit campaigns – citing “political sensitivities”, openDemocracy can reveal today. Despite being handed their first dossier of evidence of potential crimes committed by pro-Leave groups over five months ago, the police force has made no progress nor logged a formal case into the activities of either Vote Leave, fronted by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove, or Leave.EU, the pro-Brexit campaign bankrolled by Arron Banks.

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Metropolitan Police try to block Freedom of Information requests over Grenfell Tower By Simon Whelan

11 November 2017 — WSWS

London Metropolitan Police have advised the Kensington and Chelsea Council (KCC) to prevent the release of correspondence that could provide damaging information on the failure to prevent a serious fire at Grenfell Tower.

Police officers are monitoring and vetting Freedom of Information requests regarding what the council knew of fire risks to Grenfell Tower, and when, after serious warnings made by the Fire Brigade Union (FBU).

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No riots, no surprises By Nadia Beard

18 January 2014 — New Left Project

The subject of race and racism in the UK is nothing new to Britain’s criminal justice system and media, with reported cases of racist policing practices periodically gracing the media landscape. But few cases have had such stirring power as that of Mark Duggan’s shooting, the recent verdict of which has deepened an existing mistrust of police conduct, while for many adding another chapter of racial double standards to the annals of British race history. 

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