Thursday, 31 March 2011

Emanuel Family are treated with crass insensitivity at MPA meeting 
The Campaign for Justice for Smiley Culture (aka David Emanuel) attended the Metropolitan Police Authority  monthly meting this morning. We were there to hear a report back from the Acting Commissioner Tom Goodwin report on key policing issues over the last month. Around 100 supporters packed the meeting.

Prior to the meeting Acting Commissioner approached the family and offered his sympathy and condolences to Merlin Emanuel. Deputy Mayor and chair of the Authority Kit Malthouse  approached the public gallery and offered his apologies to the family of Daniel Morgan  who were in attendance to receive a much-deserved formal apology from the MPS. He then pointedly walked past the Emanuel family without a word to them.

He provided a report back on his activities over the last month including attending a police raid he was asked, rather insensitively given what happened to Smiley Culture, by Lord Toby Harris if he wore a stab vest whilst on police raids. This was provocative and drew disapproving comments from the crowd.
A formal written apology was read out to the family of Daniel Morgan from the police followed by a unanimous decision by the MPA to support the call for a public inquiry. That received a warm round applause from all of us in the Chamber. They waited twenty four years for that apology and have still not received justice. The Acting Commissioner read out his full apology to the family.

The Commissioner went on to report on the death of Smiley Culture. He offered his condolences and sympathies to the Emanuel family and said that as a consequence of the Independent Police Complaints Investigation he was unable to talk about what happened but there would be a full investigation.

Jenny Jones of the Green Party asked if the Commissioner was aware of the huge anger and concern that was felt by Londoners.

Val Shawcross and others asked questions all of which can be viewed on line here .

The Chair Kit Malthouse further insulted the family by then attempting to move on to next business. I asked if the MPS and the MPA had written to the family offering their sympathies and condolences.

Malthouse refused to do the decent thing. He refused to take the opportunity to acknowledge the family or give his condolonces and the public heckled and challenged the Chair. We made our point forcefully and left en masse after 5 minutes.
I find it disgraceful that neither the Acting Commissioner nor Chair of the MPA has written to the Emmanuel family offering their condolences. It is deeply insulting and indicates the contempt with which our community is viewed.

Surely it’s a matter of common courtesy that such a letter should be written to a family who finds their loved one has died whilst in the custody of the police? That the powers that be should fail to do so speaks volumes. The Emanuel family were treated with crass insensitivity.
The MPA has now cancelled their planned meeting for May in an attempt to prevent the Emanuel family addressing them formally through a delegation and halt the obvious momentum of the campaign. It won’t work and we are calling on people to email Chair and the CEO Catherine Crawford demanding the May meeting is reinstated.

Further the MPA has no consultative mechanism with the black community on London so they remain blinded by ignorance as to the import of this case.
It was disgraceful and reinforces the family’s determination to seek justice. That they should be treated with such obvious contempt will further alienate the MPA and MPS from the wider community.

Speaking to reporters  and supporters I told them that our community is at boiling point and the whole situation is reminiscent of the 1980’s . Its like we are being taken back in time.

We will be marching for truth, human rights and justice on April 16th 2011 Assembling at Southbank Club Wandsworth Road SW2  to New Scotland Yard. You can get more details here.

Lee Jasper