Neverrmind the USA why aren’t we focusing on deaths in police custody in the UK


This is Kingsley Burrell dying. We don’t have an image of Trayvon Martin close to death.

Last Saturday marked a year since Kingsley Burrell died while in police custody, yet his family have been denied the truth.  Kingsley died within two weeks of Smiley Culture‘s (David Emmanuel) death while under police supervision in his home, and along with many others who die under suspicious circumstances involving the police in Great Britain, it is under reported the press.

The contrast between the reporting of Trayvon Martin, a 17 year old African American young man, who was murdered  by a power crazy nut job in Sanford, Florida and black men killed in police custody in the UK, couldn’t be more glaring.  But thanks to the unflinching tenacity of his parents and their lawyer, what was a murder that Sanford Police attempted to hide and play down, has become epic world-wide, with just about everyone commenting on it.

Saturday saw a protest held outside the US Embassy in London by various groups including those demanding justice for unanswered police custody deaths in the UK, but again the media reported mainly on Trayvon’s supporters and again made no attempt to highlight our own miscarriages of justice on British soil. It appears people are more interested in meaningless symbolic gestures such as wearing a hoodie and packets of skittles, which has become symbolic after Trayvon Martins  death.

And Kingsley Burrell? Lee Jasper wrote last year for Operation Black Vote:

“Kingsley’s death on the 27th March shook Birmingham and London to its core. Communities were brutally reminded that, when it comes to any form of statutory detention, as black people we are still not safe and secure either as suspects, victims or patients. Kingsley had called the police whilst out with his son. He took refuge in a shop after he recognised a local gang that was stalking him. Knowing the violent reputation of this gang Kingsley did what we would all do in those circumstances he rang the police. As he waited and he saw what he believed to be the gang “tooling up “and rang other emergency services in the hope that someone anyone would arrive quickly and deter the gang.

“When the West Midlands Police arrived what then transpired was a travesty and a nightmare. Instead of assisting Kingsley and his son the Police forcibly arrested him and his child. He is alleged to have been beaten by the police in full view of his son an experience that will now leave that little boy with the kind of deep emotional and psychological scar that will last a life time. Along with one daughter, these children are now deprived of a loving father.

“The Police then took Kingsley to a local mental health unit and three days later, after being transferred to Queen Elizabeth Hospital Kingsley Burrell was dead.

“What is known is that Kingsley had no history of mental illness. What is known is Kingsley was not a violent man. What is known is that British Police officers are predisposed as a result of deeply held racial prejudices to treat black men in a much more violent and aggressive manner than white Britons”.


Sean Rigg diead after he was taken to Brixton police station

Demetre FraserChristopher AlderMark Duggan, Sean Rigg and so many others who have died under suspicious circumstances, are hardly written about in main stream press and apart from their family, friends and loyal supporters, there hasn’t been the same collective out-rage as what we have seen with Trayvon Martin, despite his murder taking place in the USA.

It’s frightening to live in a country where the police force can murder with impunity and where as we have seen in the last few days, police officers can racially abuse an innocent black man and even with it recorded still not be prosecuted.  As someone who has had to be restrained by police on more than one occasion, I know this could happen to anybody and we should all be concerned.  If this is allowed to continue this city could again become an inferno.

4 Responses to Neverrmind the USA why aren’t we focusing on deaths in police custody in the UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *