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Opinion / 4 August, 2017

Leader – seek justice for Rashan Charles, not just a narrative

“When Rashan Charles died after being tackled by the police, people were quick to interpret his death in terms of established motifs”

HC Crest

The death of a young father is tragic for all those who knew him, but the magnitude of a tragedy has no bearing on its cause.

When Rashan Charles died after being tackled by the police, people were quick to interpret his death in terms of established motifs.

One was that of ‘a drug dealer who got what was coming to him’, when it initially appeared that Rashan may have swallowed drugs on being apprehended by a police officer.

Another motif was that of ‘racially motivated police brutality’, supported by new figures revealing that the Met Police deployed force disproportionately against black people in the three months to June this year.

Another recurrent theme is that of the ‘corrupt IPCC’ (Independent Police Complaints Commission) in which any finding on the Charles case short of murder will be condemned as a whitewash.

There will always be a hard core of conspiracy theorists who will reject any evidence generated by an IPPC inquiry, in the same way as there are those who reject the case for climate change, or the science behind the ill effects of tobacco.

Suspicion of ‘experts’ may have risen in recent years, but it has always had a prominent place in our society, and forensic evidence will never succeed in convincing everyone, no matter how compelling it is.

Yet the majority do not fall in that camp. Most of us accept a legal process that has prevented numerous terrorist attacks, sought to prevent FGM and honour killings, pursued perpetrators of acid attacks and acted against those guilty of anti-Semitic and anti-Muslim hate crime.

Were we to give up completely on the evidence-based legal process, it is not obvious what alternatives we would be left with.

/ 4 August, 2017
  • What a desperate faith you place in the IPCC.

  • Nik Wood

    First NameSurnameAgeDate of DeathAseta Simms N/A13/05/1971Michael Ferreira1910/12/1978Colin RoachN/A12/01/1983Vandana Patel 21 29/04/1991Oluwashiji Lapite 34 16/12/1994Roger Sylvester 30 18/01/1999Sara Thomas 34 06/08/1999Kwame Sasu Wiredu 30 30/08/2002Stoke Newington poilce station – related deaths
    In the not so distant past Stoke Newington police station had a well deserved reputation for brutality. In 1998 they even had to pay Olympic heavyweight boxing champion Audley Harrison compensation for an assault on him by officers there. Since 2002 there has been a clear-out and the current regime has a better record, but the reputation has stuck.

    Police with such a record and reputation need to be held to account by clearly independent and transparent institutions. The problem is that neither the IPCC nor the CPS demonstrates those qualities unequivocally. The concerns Rashan Charles’s family have is exemplified by the old Hackney Gazette report on 19 February 2009 of the CPS opening a branch office in Stoke Newington police station, headlined “They’re singing from the same hymn sheet”. The concern is that this harmonious relationship with the police they supposedly oversee counts for more than the needs of the bereaved and of democratic accountability in the thinking of the IPCC and CPS.

    Nik Wood

  • Too Long in Hackney

    What is missing from the narrative now, since the events have been hijacked and manipulated by the “usual suspects”, is that he *was* a drug dealer … but that he was selling fake drugs!

    A wrap of paracetamol and caffeine designed to ripping off some naive consumer.

    Presumably he did not know it was fake, otherwise he would not have bothered to put up a fight against the police and swallow it, but had he been at work to support his child, or studying in further education to better himself so that he could support his child – instead of only “going to look after her a few times a week” (as a newspaper reported and presumably leaving the State to support her and her young mother) – then he would have still been alive today.

    When we look at how the main ethnic minorities in Hackney have performed, It’s not racism to ask why, for example, the Turkish/Kurds – who have been here far less time from the Caribbean community – have flourish and transformed Hackney; or say, the Orthodox Jewish community who appear as the tiniest of blips on the crime statistics.

    I think it is also wrong to portray this as a “Black” issue. That’s just another political hijacking. Again, by comparison, take the example of how well the even more recent West African migrants have integrated and gotten ahead, having a high regard for higher education and a different set of values.

    I don’t know what Charles’s roots were but as a long term resident of Hackney, I would say it is clear how each island community had a slightly different culture and brought it with them. It is not a “Black” issue, quite specifically much of Hackney’s criminal and anti-social problems are rooted in Jamaican society, or at least the part of Jamaican society that the migrants originally came from.

    I would find it hard to blame or bundle in, for example, St Lucians or Dominicans for it. Never mind, Hackney’s Ethiopian or Ghanaian communities.

    I think, to start to understand the issue better, we need a far more detailed appraisal and that part of that is accepting that community’s radically disproportionate presence in the Borough’s crime statistics. Those very same influences that MP Dianne Abbot – always one to clamber onto a soap box at such time – knowingly removed her son from by sending him to private education.

    How far out of sync are its values when, to paraphrase the Hackney Heroine, Pauline Pearce’s quote, they are saying “he [might have been] a drugs dealer … he didn’t need to be a dead drugs dealer.” Reported as an example of what a “good father” the boy was, “going to look after his child a few times a week”, that is not an example of a good father. A “good father” is there to support his child and his wife or the mother of his children 7 days a week.

    Perhaps he should not have been a drug dealer at all? Perhaps he should not have run and put up a fight when arrested? Like the Police and the drugs law or not, he was involved in a criminal business that is costing 1,000 of lives every year, and the Borough tens of millions of Pounds.

    Why should we really be feeling sympathy?

    I am presuming that another element of this is the friction between local shop owners and the very same community for its responsibility for the majority of petty crimes, ugliness and hassles they have to face. And I write this as an ex-shop owner, with friends who have or have owned shops across the Borough, many of them Turkish.

    Therefore, before the recently re-labelled “Black Lives Matter” movement, or the Antifa/Anti-Racist/Anti-Police mob, want to clamber upon this unfortunate arrest of a petty criminal to claim victim status and persecution, perhaps they should be willing own this particular community’s criminal tendencies, under-performing, anti-education, anti-social, anti-integration tendencies; and take responsibility for fixing them, rather than demanding that the rest of society pays for doing so.

    Perhaps the self-elected “Black leaders” – and I repeat my reservation as using that term, because all African-Caribbean migrants should not to be blamed for these problems – ought to studying the many other racial minorities in Hackney, and ask themselves why they haven’t gotten ahead to the same degree, why their (primarily male) youth are not integrating, and come up with some solutions for themselves?

    If “White” society is inherently racist and discriminatory, why have all the others done so well for themselves and the rest of society?

    I am absolutely sure that – ‘chicken’ to ‘egg’ – Hackney Police would love to be able to go to work each morning without facing the crap they have for decades; and perhaps if they had not to, day in day out, such events would not happen?

  • Too Long in Hackney

    What is missing from the narrative now, since the events have been hijacked and manipulated by the “usual suspects”, is that he *was* a drug dealer … but that he was selling fake drugs!

    A wrap of paracetamol and caffeine designed to ripping off some naive consumer.

    Presumably he did not know it was fake, otherwise he would not have bothered to put up a fight against the police and swallow it, but had he been at work to support his child, or studying in further education to better himself so that he could support his child – instead of only “going to look after her a few times a week” (as a newspaper reported and presumably leaving the State to support her and her young mother) – then he would have still been alive today.

    When we look at how the main ethnic minorities in Hackney have performed, It’s not racism to ask why, for example, the Turkish/Kurds – who have been here far less time from the Caribbean community – have flourish and transformed Hackney; or say, the Orthodox Jewish community who appear as the tiniest of blips on the crime statistics.

    I think it is also wrong to portray this as a “Black” issue. That’s just another political hijacking. Again, by comparison, take the example of how well the even more recent West African migrants have integrated and gotten ahead, having a high regard for higher education and a different set of values.

    I don’t know what Charles’s roots were but as a long term resident of Hackney, I would say it is clear how each island community had a slightly different culture and brought it with them. It is not a “Black” issue, quite specifically much of Hackney’s criminal and anti-social problems are rooted in Jamaican society, or at least the part of Jamaican society that the migrants originally came from.

    I would find it hard to blame or bundle in, for example, St Lucians or Dominicans for it. Never mind, Hackney’s Ethiopian or Ghanaian communities.

    I think, to start to understand the issue better, we need a far more detailed appraisal and that part of that is accepting that community’s radically disproportionate presence in the Borough’s crime statistics. Those very same influences that MP Dianne Abbot – always one to clamber onto a soap box at such time – knowingly removed her son from by sending him to private education.

    How far out of sync are its values when, to paraphrase the Hackney Heroine, Pauline Pearce’s quote, they are saying “he [might have been] a drugs dealer … he didn’t need to be a dead drugs dealer.” Reported as an example of what a “good father” the boy was, “going to look after his child a few times a week”, that is not an example of a good father. A “good father” is there to support his child and his wife or the mother of his children 7 days a week.

    Perhaps he should not have been a drug dealer at all? Perhaps he should not have run and put up a fight when arrested? Like the Police and the drugs law or not, he was involved in a criminal business that is costing 1,000 of lives every year, and the Borough tens of millions of Pounds.

    Why should we really be feeling sympathy?

    I am presuming that another element of this is the friction between local shop owners and the very same community for its responsibility for the majority of petty crimes, ugliness and hassles they have to face. And I write this as an ex-shop owner, with friends who have or have owned shops across the Borough, many of them Turkish.

    Therefore, before the recently re-labelled “Black Lives Matter” movement, or the Antifa/Anti-Racist/Anti-Police mob, want to clamber upon this unfortunate arrest of a petty criminal to claim victim status and persecution, perhaps they should be willing own this particular community’s criminal tendencies, under-performing, anti-education, anti-social, anti-integration tendencies; and take responsibility for fixing them, rather than demanding that the rest of society pays for doing so.

    Perhaps the self-elected “Black leaders” – and I repeat my reservation as using that term, because all African-Caribbean migrants should not to be blamed for these problems – ought to studying the many other racial minorities in Hackney, and ask themselves why they haven’t gotten ahead to the same degree, why their (primarily male) youth are not integrating, and come up with some solutions for themselves?

    If “White” society is inherently racist and discriminatory, why have all the others done so well for themselves and the rest of society?

    I am absolutely sure that – ‘chicken’ to ‘egg’ – Hackney Police would love to be able to go to work each morning without facing the crap they have for decades; and perhaps if they had not to, day in day out, such events would not happen?

  • Too Long in Hackney

    What is missing from the narrative now, since the events have been hijacked and manipulated by the “usual suspects”, is that he *was* a drug dealer … but that he was selling fake drugs!

    A wrap of paracetamol and caffeine designed to ripping off some naive consumer.

    Presumably he did not know it was fake, otherwise he would not have bothered to put up a fight against the police and swallow it, but had he been at work to support his child, or studying in further education to better himself so that he could support his child – instead of only “going to look after her a few times a week” (as a newspaper reported and presumably leaving the State to support her and her young mother) – then he would have still been alive today.

    When we look at how the main ethnic minorities in Hackney have performed, It’s not racism to ask why, for example, the Turkish/Kurds – who have been here far less time from the Caribbean community – have flourish and transformed Hackney; or say, the Orthodox Jewish community who appear as the tiniest of blips on the crime statistics.

    I think it is also wrong to portray this as a “Black” issue. That’s just another political hijacking. Again, by comparison, take the example of how well the even more recent West African migrants have integrated and gotten ahead, having a high regard for higher education and a different set of values.

    I don’t know what Charles’s roots were but as a long term resident of Hackney, I would say it is clear how each island community had a slightly different culture and brought it with them. It is not a “Black” issue, quite specifically much of Hackney’s criminal and anti-social problems are rooted in Jamaican society, or at least the part of Jamaican society that the migrants originally came from.

    I would find it hard to blame or bundle in, for example, St Lucians or Dominicans for it. Never mind, Hackney’s Ethiopian or Ghanaian communities.

    I think, to start to understand the issue better, we need a far more detailed appraisal and that part of that is accepting that community’s radically disproportionate presence in the Borough’s crime statistics. Those very same influences that MP Dianne Abbot – always one to clamber onto a soap box at such time – knowingly removed her son from by sending him to private education.

    How far out of sync are its values when, to paraphrase the Hackney Heroine, Pauline Pearce’s quote, they are saying “he [might have been] a drugs dealer … he didn’t need to be a dead drugs dealer.” Reported as an example of what a “good father” the boy was, “going to look after his child a few times a week”, that is not an example of a good father. A “good father” is there to support his child and his wife or the mother of his children 7 days a week.

    Perhaps he should not have been a drug dealer at all? Perhaps he should not have run and put up a fight when arrested? Like the Police and the drugs law or not, he was involved in a criminal business that is costing 1,000 of lives every year, and the Borough tens of millions of Pounds.

    Why should we really be feeling sympathy?

    I am presuming that another element of this is the friction between local shop owners and the very same community for its responsibility for the majority of petty crimes, ugliness and hassles they have to face. And I write this as an ex-shop owner, with friends who have or have owned shops across the Borough, many of them Turkish.

    Therefore, before the recently re-labelled “Black Lives Matter” movement, or the Antifa/Anti-Racist/Anti-Police mob, want to clamber upon this unfortunate arrest of a petty criminal to claim victim status and persecution, perhaps they should be willing own this particular community’s criminal tendencies, under-performing, anti-education, anti-social, anti-integration tendencies; and take responsibility for fixing them, rather than demanding that the rest of society pays for doing so.

    Perhaps the self-elected “Black leaders” – and I repeat my reservation as using that term, because all African-Caribbean migrants should not to be blamed for these problems – ought to studying the many other racial minorities in Hackney, and ask themselves why they haven’t gotten ahead to the same degree, why their (primarily male) youth are not integrating, and come up with some solutions for themselves?

    If “White” society is inherently racist and discriminatory, why have all the others done so well for themselves and the rest of society?

    I am absolutely sure that – ‘chicken’ to ‘egg’ – Hackney Police would love to be able to go to work each morning without facing the crap they have for decades; and perhaps if they had not to, day in day out, such events would not happen?

  • Too Long in Hackney

    What is missing from the narrative now, since the events have been hijacked and manipulated by the “usual suspects”, is that he *was* a drug dealer … but that he was selling fake drugs!

    A wrap of paracetamol and caffeine designed to ripping off some naive consumer.

    Presumably he did not know it was fake, otherwise he would not have bothered to put up a fight against the police and swallow it, but had he been at work to support his child, or studying in further education to better himself so that he could support his child – instead of only “going to look after her a few times a week” (as a newspaper reported and presumably leaving the State to support her and her young mother) – then he would have still been alive today.

    When we look at how the main ethnic minorities in Hackney have performed, It’s not racism to ask why, for example, the Turkish/Kurds – who have been here far less time from the Caribbean community – have flourish and transformed Hackney; or say, the Orthodox Jewish community who appear as the tiniest of blips on the crime statistics.

    I think it is also wrong to portray this as a “Black” issue. That’s just another political hijacking. Again, by comparison, take the example of how well the even more recent West African migrants have integrated and gotten ahead, having a high regard for higher education and a different set of values.

    I don’t know what Charles’s roots were but as a long term resident of Hackney, I would say it is clear how each island community had a slightly different culture and brought it with them. It is not a “Black” issue, quite specifically much of Hackney’s criminal and anti-social problems are rooted in Jamaican society, or at least the part of Jamaican society that the migrants originally came from.

    I would find it hard to blame or bundle in, for example, St Lucians or Dominicans for it. Never mind, Hackney’s Ethiopian or Ghanaian communities.

    I think, to start to understand the issue better, we need a far more detailed appraisal and that part of that is accepting that community’s radically disproportionate presence in the Borough’s crime statistics. Those very same influences that MP Dianne Abbot – always one to clamber onto a soap box at such time – knowingly removed her son from by sending him to private education.

    How far out of sync are its values when, to paraphrase the Hackney Heroine, Pauline Pearce’s quote, they are saying “he [might have been] a drugs dealer … he didn’t need to be a dead drugs dealer.” Reported as an example of what a “good father” the boy was, “going to look after his child a few times a week”, that is not an example of a good father. A “good father” is there to support his child and his wife or the mother of his children 7 days a week.

    Perhaps he should not have been a drug dealer at all? Perhaps he should not have run and put up a fight when arrested? Like the Police and the drugs law or not, he was involved in a criminal business that is costing 1,000 of lives every year, and the Borough tens of millions of Pounds.

    Why should we really be feeling sympathy?

    I am presuming that another element of this is the friction between local shop owners and the very same community for its responsibility for the majority of petty crimes, ugliness and hassles they have to face. And I write this as an ex-shop owner, with friends who have or have owned shops across the Borough, many of them Turkish.

    Therefore, before the recently re-labelled “Black Lives Matter” movement, or the Antifa/Anti-Racist/Anti-Police mob, want to clamber upon this unfortunate arrest of a petty criminal to claim victim status and persecution, perhaps they should be willing own this particular community’s criminal tendencies, under-performing, anti-education, anti-social, anti-integration tendencies; and take responsibility for fixing them, rather than demanding that the rest of society pays for doing so.

    Perhaps the self-elected “Black leaders” – and I repeat my reservation as using that term, because all African-Caribbean migrants should not to be blamed for these problems – ought to studying the many other racial minorities in Hackney, and ask themselves why they haven’t gotten ahead to the same degree, why their (primarily male) youth are not integrating, and come up with some solutions for themselves?

    If “White” society is inherently racist and discriminatory, why have all the others done so well for themselves and the rest of society?

    I am absolutely sure that – ‘chicken’ to ‘egg’ – Hackney Police would love to be able to go to work each morning without facing the crap they have for decades; and perhaps if they had not to, day in day out, such events would not happen?

  • Graham Hall

    all gone quiet on this case. It does not serve the public interest at all well. to allow the matter to drift.

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