Police

Rotherham 12 acquittal is a victory for anti-fascists everywhere

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The acquittal at Sheffield Crown Court of ten Asian men accused of violent disorder is a victory for anti-fascists everywhere.

The men were arrested along with two others following their involvement in an anti-fascist protest in Rotherham in September 2015.

In the aftermath of the Rotherham child abuse scandal, the town had become a target for fascist groups, who were escorted by police in a series of provocative marches in the town.

Turmoil inside the police

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The police are facing a major crisis, caught between endless revelations about cover-ups and injustice, as well as government cuts. Matt Foot looks at the turmoil in a once monolithic arm of the state.

No one could have predicted that an altercation between a police officer and a cabinet member wheeling his bike out of Downing Street would cement the biggest crisis in the police since 1919.
Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell was disgraced and consigned to the back benches until the police version of events imploded.

The diplomatic protection unit police officer, Keith Wallis, wrote to his MP confirming he witnessed the event from Whitehall. There was a slight problem with his account however — CCTV footage showed he wasn’t there at all.

Ferguson, St Louis: Echoes of the past

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Hands up. Don't shoot!

The shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, a suburb of St Loius in Missouri, sparked a wave of anger and protest in America. Weyman Bennett attended the memorial service for Michael on behalf of Stand Up to Racism and Unite Against Fascism campaigns. Here he looks at what has changed, and what has not, for black people in the US.

You could feel the anger on the streets of Ferguson even after the days of demonstrations had peaked. Families in this relatively nice suburb of St Louis were sitting outside their homes in deck chairs with home-made placards demanding justice for Michael Brown.

After the inquest into Mark Duggan's death, police are racist to the core

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The killing that sparked the 2011 summer riots has exposed the reality of policing of black, Asian and working class communities. Brian Richardson looks at the inquest and its aftermath.

The police and political establishment must have feared the worst when an inquest jury announced in January that they did not believe that Mark Duggan had a gun in his hand when he was fatally shot by police officers in Tottenham, North London, on 4 August 2011. Ultimately, however, they must have breathed a huge sigh of relief when the jury concluded that the killing was lawful.

Hillsborough: truth, now justice

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Seldom does the struggle for justice intrude on, let alone dominate, media sports coverage, but the report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel did.

The facts can be briefly stated: 96 Liverpool fans died, crushed behind steel fences at Sheffield's Hillsborough stadium. Many died from asphyxia where they stood. The list of victims reads like a war memorial with 37 teenagers, 60 under 25.

Most football grounds then had high fences barring pitch access and more fences cordoning off terrace enclosures. Hillsborough was a regular venue for semi-finals and a regular scene of potential disaster. A crush in 1981 left 38 injured. There was serious overcrowding in 1987 and a crush again in 1988.

Working for the clampdown - the police and the cuts

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These are troubling times for the police. The march against cuts by 30,000 off-duty officers in May took place against a backdrop of widespread revulsion at police involvement in News International's illegal phone hacking operation, a scandal which has already led to the resignation of two of the Metropolitan Police's most senior police officers, Sir Paul Stephenson and John Yates.

The Leveson inquiry has revealed the scale of collusion between police officers, government ministers and News International staff, providing ample evidence of police complicity in a deliberate cover-up of illegal hacking. It would generally be considered unusual for the police to wine and dine with suspected criminals. Yet Paul Stephenson met with News International chiefs 18 times in the course of the "failed" investigations into hacking.

A dangerous enterprise

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Judge Red

A column about socialists and the legal system

The law on joint enterprise is one of the most complex and controversial in criminal law. It can be used to convict people who are said to have acted together while committing an offence. Each defendant is held "liable for the acts done in pursuance of that joint enterprise", including "liability for unusual consequences".

Justice For Trayvon

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In late February George Zimmerman shot and killed Trayvon Martin in Sanford, Florida. That much is not in dispute - Zimmerman and his lawyer admit it. It's a scandal, but not for the reasons most of the media are telling you.

Zimmerman is a neighbourhood watch "captain" in a gated community. Martin was a 17 year old African American wearing a hoodie and visiting relatives. Zimmerman thought maybe Trayvon Martin was a prowler. So he called 911 (the American 999) and followed Martin, talking to the 911 operative as he did so. On the tape of the call, Zimmerman says to the 911 dispatcher, "He looks [...pause...] black."

The Sun isn't shining

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The wheels continue to come off at News International. James Murdoch's resignation as executive chairman is the latest blow. It came a few days after Metropolitan police deputy-assistant commissioner Sue Akers' explosive account to the Leveson Inquiry of a "culture of illegal payments" to a "network of corrupt officials" by the Sun

Ackers' broadside came a day after Rupert Murdoch launched the first Sun on Sunday, replacing the News of the World which was shut last July. His abrupt move followed the dawn arrests of ten Sun journalists - an eleventh is wanted for questioning - sparking such discontent among Murdoch's loyal hacks that Rupert himself descended on Wapping to reassure them.

It wasn't the Daily Mail wot won it!

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The Daily Mail has claimed that it drove forward the campaign for justice for Stephen Lawrence. Brian Richardson sets the record straight and argues that the real pressure for justice came from below

Daily Mail editor in chief Paul Dacre is one of the longest serving and most influential people in the press. He is also notoriously reclusive. In the wake of the Stephen Lawrence murder trial verdict, however, he could not contain himself.

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