Bereaved families launch petition & campaign on legal aid for inquests

Cases in the UKsource: Ekklesia
published: 27 February 2019

Bereaved families and INQUEST have launched a campaign, Now or Never! Legal Aid for Inquests. This follows the decision by the Ministry of Justice (MOJ) to reject widely supported proposals and overwhelming evidence in favour of fair legal funding for bereaved people.

The campaign is calling for the government to reconsider this decision and urgently introduce automatic non-means tested legal aid funding to bereaved families following a state-related death. The detail of this proposal is outlined in a new briefing by INQUEST.

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The Met police’s use of force jumps by 79% in one year

Custody Cell

source: The Guardian
published: 8 October 2018

The Metropolitan police’s use of force has risen sharply in the last year, with black people far more likely to be subjected to such tactics than anyone else, the Guardian can reveal.

The UK’s largest police force deployed methods ranging from handcuffing to use of stun guns, CS spray, batons and guns 41,329 times in April to August of this year – 270 times a day on average – according to Guardian analysis of official figures. That compares with 23,118 in the corresponding period last year – a 79% rise – and 62,153 in the whole of 2017-18.

On 39% of occasions in which force was used by Met officers in the first five months of the financial year, it was used on black people, who constitute approximately 13% of London’s population.

Charities and MPs have raised alarm about officers increasingly resorting to such tactics and black people so often being on the receiving end.

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It is time for the police to admit their mistakes

Police Restraintsource: New Statesman
published: 25 July 2017

Already this summer, four people have died after contact with the police. At least three of them were black men who died following police restraint.

Last Saturday, 20-year-old Rashan Charles lost his life after being pinned to the floor of a convenience store, and restrained by an officer and another person in plain clothes.

These deaths aren’t included in the latest annual report from the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC), which covers the year ending 31 March 2017. But the deaths of Rashan, Edir Frederico da Costa, Darren Cumberbatch, and a 16-year-old boy, who died in a crash during a police pursuit, recall those who have lost their lives during or following police contact in the months preceding them: Mzee Mohammed, Dalian Atkinson, Mohammed Yassar Yaqub.

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