The last time we mentioned someone getting tasered by police we received a threat of legal action on behalf of the police. Despite the fact that we did not mention the name of the officer or officers (we didn’t know it) concerned. We were asked to remove the story and print an apology.
We allowed our voice to be silenced and just stopped reporting on crimes against black people, whether black on black or police on black, because you never know who’s looking for a payday. The story is still available on the Internet but we noticed that big newspapers weren’t a target just this one site. Very strange.
Anyway, shit hasn’t changed. People are still dying in police custody, kids are still stabbing and shooting each other and the world still turns. So fuck it. We are going back to sharing what’s already out there.
Death by taser
On 23 August, Great Manchester Police officers used a Taser on Philip Hulmes, a 53-year-old truck driver from Bolton. The police claim that Hulmes had begun stabbing himself in the stomach when they broke into his house. After using a Taser on Hulmes, he was taken to the Royal Bolton Hospital where he died about half an hour later.
On 22 August, 25 year-old Jacob Michael from Widnes, Merseyside was at home when police arrived. Officers used pepper spray on Michael and then subdued him with massive force, inflicted by up to 11 police officers.
Following this attack he was taken into custody and rapidly became unwell. Later that evening he was taken to hospital where he was pronounced dead.
On August 16, 27-year-old father of two, Dale Burns from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, was arrested at home by eight police officers.
During the arrest an officer discharged a Taser device three times, and another used pepper spray. Following the arrest, Burns, a body-builder, complained of feeling unwell and was taken to Furness General Hospital where his condition deteriorated. He was later pronounced dead.
United Friends and Families Campaign (UFFC) is a London based coalition of campaigns by the friends and the families of people who have died in police custody, prisons and psychiatric hospitals and have not received justice. The aim of the coalition is to prevent such deaths from occurring and to bring an end to these deaths occurring.
The coalition supports the families to organise demonstrations, speak to the media, hold regular vigils outside police stations, demand inclusion in a policy conference about deaths in custody, and entreat the judicial system to respond to the massive evidence of police brutality.
The UFFC, who have been marching every year since 1999, are holding a rally on Saturday, October 29, from 12.30pm-3.30pm, starting from Trafalgar Square in central London.
They will be marching to the Prime Minister’s office in Downing Street to hand in a list of demands, which include calls for cameras in police vans, changes in legislation and a public enquiry into deaths in custody.
“One or two people every week die in custody yet not one police officer has been prosecuted,” one of the organisers, Ken Fero, told The Voice newspaper: “What I want to say to Cameron is have the courage and conviction to deal with this issue. If you can deal with human rights abuses abroad, deal with them here.”