Why aren’t Black deaths in custody an election issue?

Parliament Protestoriginally published by: Chronicle World
2nd May 2010

In all the 2010 election brouhaha about fairness in society, no political party has made the alarming number of deaths of Black people in police custody a priority.

However, thanks to the GPI Generation (the heirs of the “Stop Police Brutality” marches) the anguish and concerns of Black communities and voters have gained a voice.

“Now is the time to empower people with “strategies of protest” against injustice in the hands of the law”, said Remi Harris, music producer, and Aisha Phoenix, graduate student as they welcomed speakers, campaigners and bereaved families to the George Padmore Institute meeting.

Dying for justice, Black communities have suffered deaths in custody for far too long, they said. It was 41 years ago that Nigerian David Oluwale was assaulted by two police officers and found dead in the River Aire in Leeds in May 1969.

Eleven years ago, Roger Sylvester died in hospital days after a beating by police on a freezing cold January evening in 1999. He collapsed when eight police officers used force against him – despite the fact hat he offered no resistance when they arrested him.

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