Priti Patel’s assertion that “police brutality in the United States is no excuse for the violence against our brave police officers at home” is laughable considering police brutality against Black people in the UK is very much aliveby Zainab Asunramu / June 11, 2020 / Leave a comment
Brian Douglas, 1995. Joy Gardner, 1993. Leon Patterson, 1992. Christopher Alder, 1998. Roger Sylvester, 1999. Derek Bennett, 2001. Azelle Rodney, 2005. Mikey Powell, 2003. Ricky Bishop, 2001. Sean Rigg, 2009. Olaseni Lewis, 2010. Jimmy Mubenga, 2010. Mark Duggan, 2011. Smiley Culture, 2011. Kingsley Burrell, 2011. Jacob Michael, 2011. Leon Briggs, 2013. Julian Cole, 2013. Daniel Adewole, 2015. Jermaine Baker, 2015. Adrian Mcdonald, 2014. Sheku Bayoh, 2015. Dalian Atkinson, 2016. Mzee Mohammed, 2016. Nuno Cardoso, 2017. Rashan Charles, 2017. Sarah Reed, 2016. Edson Da Costa, 2017. Daren Cumberbatch, 2017. Trevor Smith, 2019.
These are the names of 30 Black men and women who have died—or, in Cole’s case, left paralysed and brain damaged—in the UK following contact with the police or law enforcement. These are the names that remind our community just how dangerous contact with the police can be.
I cannot remember where I was or what I was doing when the video of George Floyd’s murder flashed across my screen. I just remember a feeling of sheer dread washing over my body and a heaviness begin to set in my chest. I was tense. I was angry. I was tired. It was a feeling shared by so many Black people in the UK. We recognised the brutality and racism present as Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd’s neck until he took his last breath.
We recognised it because this disregard for our lives is pervasive in the UK too. Yet our protests have been met by incredulity, confusion, and disregard, as people and activists have taken to the streets to proclaim: “BLACK LIVES MATTER.”
For Black people, the reason for our protests could not be clearer. When someone who looks like us is murdered at the hands of law enforcement in the USA, we feel that pain—despite the ocean that separates us—because we too have borne the brunt of racist policing and criminalisation. We recognise the racist systems in place that led to the killing of George Floyd, because those systems exist in the…