Thursday, 29 April 2021

South Wales Police crisis deepens as sixth officer, a Police Sergeant is investigated over the death of Mohamud Hassan.

 


As a senior police officer faces now disciplinary investigations and Wales emergences out of lockdown, the issues of police racism and the deaths in police custody in January of this year of two Black men, Mohamud Hassan and Mouayed Bashir will see an escalation of Black Lives Matter demonstrations in Wales. 


Mohamud Hassan died on Saturday, January 9th 2021, after being violently arrested by Cardiff Bay Police officers at his home in Cardiff, Wales. He was detained overnight and released the following day without charge. His case has become a national and international story as the details of his arrest have been made public. 


Today I can reveal that in addition to five officers already being investigated, a sixth South Wales Police officer has now been served a regulation 17 disciplinary notice in connection to Mohamud's detention at Cardiff Bay police station. This notice relates to apparent failures to properly risk assess Mohamud whilst in custody. Mohamud repeatedly complained of feeling very ill, and yet no one lifted a finger to help him as his condition deteriorated. 

 

As indicated by these investigations, we now know that there was a catalogue of abuse and failures that ran through the entire chain of command from arrest to detention and release. 


It's worth recalling that South Wales police initially denied any wrongdoing by their officers in relation to Mohamud's arrest and subsequent detention.

 


Unbelievably the Chief Constable issued a press statement on January 15th 2021, commentating on his referral of this case to the IOPC just six days after Mohamud's death. 

 

The press release reads.

 

"...we did not do this (referred case to IOPC) because we thought that police officers had done anything wrong, but because it was the right thing to do, to give an independent view on the decisions that we made and the actions that we took."


 

The Hassan family continues to fight for justice and ask's for your support in demanding;

 

1.The IOPC releases the police bodycam videos of Mohamud arrest to the family and 

 

2.That South Wales Police Jeremy Vaughan resigns or is sacked for having issued this press release which bears no relation to the truth. His position, we say, is untenable, and we are calling on the candidates currently campaigning for the South Wales Police Crime Commissioner to back these demands and commit to a full independent inquiry. 

 

All the officers involved face serious misconduct charges and are suspended pending the outcomes of the IOPC investigations.

 

The IOPC, in refusing to release the police bodycam videos, was party to the initial conspiracy to deny any wrongdoing. It's now clear they wanted to maintain the initial fiction expressed in the South Wales Police press release that there was no case to answer as suggested by Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan. Both were involved in manipulating the media and proactively sought to play down and undermine the families concern that the police had battered Mohamud. 

 

The IOPC will issue this statement. 

 

"We have now served a notice at the level of misconduct on a custody sergeant who was on duty during Mr Hassan's detention. This notice relates to the quality of the risk assessment undertaken on Mr Hassan when in custody. Notices have previously been served on four other police officers and one custody detention officer as part of our ongoing investigation. One of the notices for a police officer is at gross misconduct level, the remainder are at misconduct level. Service of a misconduct notice does not necessarily mean an officer has committed any wrongdoing. It is to notify an officer that their conduct is being investigated."



There will be a Twitter storm for Mohamud on May 9th 2021 and an international online public meeting on 9th of June 2021 

 

Follow Justice 4 Mohamud Hassan on Twitter, Insta and Facebook for more details. 

 

Sunday, 11 April 2021

Race Commissioners Accuse PM's Office of Rewriting Race Report.

The news that the embattled Race and Ethnic Disparities Commissioners have today distanced themselves from the Government and making the extraordinary serious accusation that the Prime Minister Office re-wrote huge tracts of the final report. This is an explosive new development that will further damage both the Government and Commissions credibility. 



We are now told that the 258-page document was not made available to the Commissioners to read in advance. Some now say, speaking anonymously to the Observer newspaper, they did not 'sign off the final report' before publication.  

 

These explosive revelations raise serious questions for both the Government and the Commissioners.

 

First, there is the distinctly unsavoury prospect of the Prim Ministers Office conducted a political hatchet job on the report and is basically lying about its conclusions. Given the anger and concern from Black, Asian ethnic minority communities, this leaves a bitter taste in everyone's mouths. The consequences will be a catastrophic loss of confidence of what is remaining of this Government's shattered reputation in relation to Britain's black communities.

 


These revelations confirm that this was a covert exercise to develop a political asset for a relentless propaganda campaign whose objective was to discredit the Black Lives Matter movement, undermine the concept of institutionalised racism, and politically attack all those who opposed the report. It was an attempt to create a new defining line in relation to the politics of race.

 

The report's overwhelming narrative was relatively straightforward. Institutional racism doesn't exist. Some minorities are pathologically and culturally dysfunctional and only have themselves to blame for their misfortune, whilst other minorities are good and prosper precisely because they don't have a 'victim mentality. This report sought to mess with people heads in a very sinister way. The Government was a party to a determined attempt to legitimise the routine denial of peoples lived realities. These revelations illustrate the Cabinet Office conducted a pyscho-opps propaganda war to destabilise black people's mental health.

 

The plethora of right-wing articles following publication that defend the report, slamming its critics, provides ample evidence of a coordinated and quite deliberate campaign to split Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. The report was a tactic to publicly identify the opponents of Government and flush them out in an attempt to send a clear message as to who is the enemy of and allowing the right-wing media to go after them.    

 

Comparisons to the Ministry of Truth's Orwellian concept in his classic dystopian novel 1984 come to mind. At the centre of this unholy mess sits the PM key adviser, Munira 'Misery' Mirza. 


One of the immediate consequences of these revelations should be that she should be subject to an immediate investigation into what role she played in all of this. 

 

Concerning the Commissioners, I know for sure there were those among them who worked on the government press release in advance of its release. These Commissioners are not unintelligent people, and the question that has to be asked is why you would go on national television advocating for and defending this report if you hadn't, in fact, read the document in advance? 

 

The reality for me, whilst I can believe some of these Commissioners were duped by this Government, it is hard to believe that others, given their extensive professional experience and public profiles, would not have been forensically and intimately aware of what was going on.

 

Those that genuinely were duped should be reprimanded for their naivety. Those that were eager and willingly entered into this conspiracy should find no quarter of forgiveness. All, without exception, must explain how they were seduced into this political honeytrap by this discredited and unethical Government.   

 

The Government's cackhanded attempt to rewrite the narrative concerning institutionalised racism has blown up in their face. There will be many serious questions that will need to be asked and answered. The consequences for this Government and the country at large will be profound. 

 

There is no coming back for a Government that orchestrated a conspiracy to fool the public into believing institutional racism does not exist.

Tuesday, 30 March 2021

Gov's Race Report is an Insult to British BAME communities.


                                                         


                                                      PRESS RELEASE.

30/03/2021 22:43


Says, Gov Race Commission report a 'slap in the face for Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities.'

The Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities Chaired by Dr Tony Sewell publishes its today and what absolutely clear is that he report will read like an apologist charter for systemic racism. The report gave the the UK a clean bill of health and declares there is no evidence of institutional racism. 

I have been an equalities adviser to five successive Home Secretaries, a London Mayor and a leading advocate of black communities for some 37 years. This report is an outrage and let me explain why. 

The level of denial of the realities of systemic racism in this report is breath taking. 

In writing this I'm aware of the real function of this report and believe as Toni Morrison said,

The function, the very serious function of racism is distraction. It keeps you from doing your work. It keeps you explaining, over and over again, your reason for being. Somebody says you have no language and you spend twenty years proving that you do. Somebody says your head isn’t shaped properly so you have scientists working on the fact that it is. Somebody says you have no art, so you dredge that up. Somebody says you have no kingdoms, so you dredge that up. None of this is necessary. There will always be one more thing.”

This report is a propaganda piece in the Gov's culture wars. It is a rewriting of history, a denial of contemporary realities and constitutes a literal slap in the face for Britain's Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities. 

We should expect the right wing and liberal media to be fulsome in its praise of the report as a result of what appears to be the selective briefing of journalists in advance of the reports publication. 

Nadine White Britains first Race Correspondent writing for the Independant stated in a tweet, 

"Despite my numerous requests for updates over the weeks (months) about when the report will be published, the govt did not send details of the Race Commission's report to me - the only Race Correspondent in the UK. But other journalists received it."

This report fails to arrive at any significant conclusions on a range of critical issue of profound importance to our communities.

Issues such as ethnic health inequalities, the ethnic pay gap, rising black youth unemployment, rising rates of poverty, homelessness and the scandals of systemic racism within criminal justice and the school exclusion to prison pipeline are either superficially covered or ignored.  

Systemic racism is a literal life and death issue for our communities. 

The leading headline says it all, 

"Britain has become a more open society where children from many ethnic communities do at least as
well or substantially better than white pupils in compulsory education, a landmark study concludes."

                     

The Report is so forceful in its denial of racism and so divorced from reality that its reminiscent of the press releases issued by the South African regime during the dark days of apartheid, denying all forms of racism.  It has no comment to make on institutional racism in policing, the Windrush scandal. and the Grenfell fire are all simply brushed aside 

Described as a 'landmark' publication, the Commissioners assert that the report...

"…challenges the view that Britain has failed to make progress in tackling racial inequality, suggesting the well-meaning "idealism" of many young people who claim the country is still institutionally racist is not borne out by the evidence."


The  report finds that,

"…. issues around race and racism were becoming less important and, in some cases, were not a significant factor in explaining disparities."

And states:

" We found that most of the disparities we examined, which some attribute to racial discrimination, often do not have their origins in racism, and continues, that some communities continue to be "haunted" by "historic cases" of racism, creating "deep mistrust" in the system which could prove a barrier to success."

The reality is of course as this You Gov survey show 84% of BAME Brits people believe the UK is racist. 

The report continues. 

“The report highlights the significance of education as the single most powerful tool in reducing ethnic disparities. The effect of education is transformative on individuals but also their families and their communities, sometimes within a generation."


Warming to its blame the victim narrative it sallies forth...

"However, there is also an increasingly strident form of anti-racism thinking that seeks to explain all minority disadvantage through the prism of White discrimination. This diverts attention from the other reasons for minority success and failure, including those embedded in the cultures and attitudes of those minority communities themselves."

Whilst there is no doubt about the realities of some Black and Asian and ethnic children's educational success, this represents an island of excellence surrounded by seas of mediocrity. The toxic effect of systemic racism continues to hugely disadvantages these children in a myriad of different ways.

According to the press release, the report in seeking to portray Britain as a world leader in tackling racism actually exposes its inherent contradictions.

Logic would suggest that any community doing so well in terms of education should see this success reflected in terms of incomes and quality of life outcomes. In the real world, what all the evidence points to is quite the reverse. Despite our educational success, the realities of systemic racism dramatically disadvantage our communities. It's a disadvantage the doesn't impact white working-class boys to the same extent as found in a 2019 report published by Aberdeen University. 

The Commissions remit was to review inequality in the UK, focusing on poverty, education, employment, health and the criminal justice system. It appears to have utterly failed even on its own terms.

It's worth remembering that Prime Minister Boris Johnson commissioned this report in response to the Black Lives Matter protests in the summer of last year. Exchequer Secretary launched the Commission to the Treasury and Equalities Minister Kemi Badenoch, who said,

"This Commission demonstrates this government's mission to level up opportunity for everyone, whatever their background. Our expert Chair and Commissioners will make evidence-based recommendations to change lives for the better. Their work will be crucial in informing and improving the national conversation on race."

This Commission has failed its remit, is intellectually confused and demonstrated a degree pf politically illiteracy on this issue that beggars belief. It is astonishing that the Commissioners would agree to have their names attached to this report.

The report also flies in the face of the UN's 2018 findings on racism in Britain who said. 

"The UK Government’s policies exacerbate discrimination, stoke xenophobic sentiment and further entrench racial inequality, the UN’s expert on racism and human rights said in a report

In the report to be presented to the Human Rights Council on 8 July, E. Tendayi Achiume cited persistent racial disparities in, among others, education, employment, housing, health, surveillance, interactions with police, prosecutions, and incarceration.

"The structural socio-economic exclusion of racial and ethnic minority communities in the United Kingdom is striking," the Special Rapporteur said in her report, based on a fact-finding visit to the country in April and May 2018" .

It is critically important for BAME Civil Society and NGO's organisations like Operation Black Vote, Runnymede Trust, and the Coalition of Race Equality (CORE) speak out and condemn this report.  

The entirety of British Black, Asian and ethnic minority communities and all credible representative organisations must jointly condemn this report in order to assert our fundamental rights to justice and equality.  I would suggest a collective statement be prepared. Where you stand on this report will now be a litmus test of credibility in our communities. The dividing lines have been drawn. 

This report will certainly inform the national conversation on race. It will inflame both the anxiety and anger that gave rise to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations last year and will undoubtedly lead to increased protest during this summer.

I note the recommendation to stop using the term BAME a welcome but in reality, this is little more than a performative gesture. Its importance is akin to changing the curtains in a burning house. 

The Commissioners who are a party to this disingenuous charade will see their professional and ethical reputations deeply damaged within their own communities and beyond.

Chief among them will be the chair of the Commission, Dr Tony Sewell, whose insistence in promoting Britain as a world leader in tackling racism can only best be described as equalling that of Uncle Remus singing Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah" in the Disney song from the 1946 film, Song of the South.

The reputational damage to him will be terminal.

Editors notes.

Ten key facts that undermine the report's conclusions.

1. 45% of white British pupils attend university after leaving school, the lowest rate of all ethnicities, excluding Gypsy/Roma. However, they have better rates of entering elite universities. Of those who enrol in university, 24% of white British students attend a Russell Group institution, more than most minority ethnic groups. Black African and Pakistani students show the largest differential between high university attendance and low enrolment in Russell Group. The Sutton Trust 2016

2. A recent investigation by the Guardian newspaper into school exclusions found that black Caribbean students in English schools were up to six times higher than for those of their white peers in some local authorities.

3. Among people aged 16-24, unemployment rates were highest for people from a Black (29%) or Bangladeshi or Pakistani (27%) ethnic background in October 2019-September 2020. This compared to a rate of 11% for people from a White ethnic background.

4. The unemployment rate for people from a minority ethnic background was 9.5% in October-December 2020, up from 5.8% in the same period the year before. The unemployment rate for people from White ethnic backgrounds also rose, from 3.1% to 4.5%. Unemployment rates for people from both White and minority ethnic backgrounds are below the rates seen prior to the economic downturn in 2008.

5. In the 12 months to September 2020, the unemployment rate was highest for people from a Pakistani (9%) or Black (9%) ethnic background. The unemployment rate was lowest for people from a White, Indian (4%), or Chinese (5%) ethnic background. Source 3-6 Unemployment by Ethnic Background. House of Commons library briefing paper number 6385, 4th of March 2021

6. One in three ethnic minority workers say they have been unfairly turned down for a job, compared with just one in five (19%) white workers, according to research published recently by the TUC.

7. Youth justice statistics 2019/20 published by the Ministry of Justice reported that the proportion of Black children cautioned or sentenced has been increasing over the last ten years and is now double what it was in the year ending March 2010 (12% compared to 6%).

An article in the Guardian newspaper in a report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons identified that;

· About 51% of boys in young offender institutions (YOIs) – prisons for boys aged 15 to 17 and young adult men aged 18 to 21 – identified as being from a BME background, Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Prisons (HMIP) found.

· In addition, the inspectorate found 42% of children in secure training centres (STCs) – prisons for children up to the age of 17 – were from a BME background.

· The proportion of BME boys and men behind bars in YOIs in England and Wales is nearly four times the 14% BME proportion of the wider UK population.

9. Ethnic minority communities face a higher risk of falling ill and dying with coronavirus because of the UK's "colour-blind" vaccine distribution strategy, says the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation (JCVI), a committee of leading doctors that advises the government.

10. Black women are just over four times more likely to die during pregnancy and childbirth and up to six weeks postpartum, according to research published by the Nuffield Department of Population Health. University of Oxford.


End.



Monday, 22 March 2021

Mohamud Hassan Family Statement on The Sad Death of Newborn Child.

The following is a statement issued by the Hassan family today. 


"It is with great sadness that the family of Mohamud Hassan announces that on 21.03.2021 Lamaya Ader Mohamud Hassan the beautiful daughter of Mohamud and Phoebe was born but sadly died the same day.

 

This is a further tragedy beyond words for Mohamuds family at this time but comfort is drawn from the knowledge that Lamaya is now with her Daddy as both are returned to Allah.   

 

‎Innā lillāhi wa innā ilayhī rājiʿūn

 

Surely we belong to Allah and to him shall we return"


Hassan Family


 

Friday, 19 March 2021

Explosive Update. Mohamud Hassan blacked out in the back of a police van. They did nothing to help him.

South Wales Police Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan Must Resign. 

Dramatic developments and new updates in the Mohamud Hassan case. 


Mohamud died on Saturday 9th January 2021 after being violently arrested by Cardiff Bay Police officers at his home in Cardiff, Wales. He was detained overnight and released the next morning without charge. 


One police officer has already been served a notice of investigation by the Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC) for failing to inform the Custody Officer at Cardiff Bay police station that Mohamud had complained of feeling like he was about to have a fit whilst he was being transported in the back of a police van to the police station.  


Initially, the investigation into this officer was classed as a possible low level misconduct attracting nothing more than a warning letter if proven. 


The Hassan family immediately demanded this charge be elevated to Gross Misconduct, which could result in the officer's dismissal. The family also called for the officers suspension. The IOPC rejected these demands. 


Now, the IOPC has revealed that this same Police officer failed not only to report Mohamud's complaint of feeling seriously unwell to the custody sergeant at Cardiff Bay police station, he also saw him collapse, literally slumping over in the back of the police van, and still did not report this to his senior officer. 


In failing to report and get urgent medical attention, the officer missed a real opportunity to have potentially prevented Mohamud's untimely death. 


That the IOPC has revisited the original charge against this officer, in the light of this damning revelation makes no sense. 


It's as though the IOPC is watching this officer's bodycam video in instalments. Why would the IOPC partially investigate the 'back of the van' incident, instead of simply conducting a proper investigation watching the whole footage before fully determining the disciplinary charge's status to be levelled at the officer?  


Clearly the charge against this officer must now be elevated to Gross Misconduct, and he must be suspended immediately. 


Interestingly, the Cardiff Bay Police station's custody sergeant on duty at the time of Mohamud arrival at the police station is now also being investigated. He has been served a notice of potential Gross Misconduct charges. 


The IOPC statement reads that the IOPC served,  


"a notice at gross misconduct level on a police officer that they may have breached police professional standards of duties and responsibilities, and honesty and integrity. We are examining the adequacy of welfare checks carried out and whether these were in line with required standards, and entries the officer made on the custody record;" 


This charge could relate to false entries or omissions in the custody record and validates why the family's legal rep Hilary Brown has been asking for the police bodycam videos and police custody records from day one. The Hassan family don't trust the IOPC to do a proper investigation, and the haphazard nature of their investigation thus far illustrates why. 


Did the officers in the van and the custody sergeant conspire together to hide something and was that the fact that Mohamud had suffered disproportionate and unnecessary violence during his arrest and transit to the police station? 


The IOPC continues, 


"a notice at misconduct level on a police officer concerning their use of force while escorting Mr Hassan shortly after he arrived at the custody suite; we are examining whether the use of force was necessary, proportionate and reasonable in the circumstances;"


The charge here suggests officers assaulted Mohamud during being escorted from the police van to the custody suite. So the officer who saw him collapse must have been involved in this along with the officers sat in front of the vehicle. This is horrific. 


"a notice at misconduct level on a custody detention officer that they may have breached police professional standards of duties and responsibilities concerning the adequacy of welfare checks carried out, and whether these were in line with required standards."


After being subjected to potentially disproportionate force, reporting feeling unwell, no one checked on his welfare as required by law. They slung him a cell and left him there. 


The IOPC adds,


"In terms of the evening of Mr Hassan's arrest for alleged breach of the peace, we have served notices at misconduct level on two police officers concerning their decision-making on the use of force on Mr Hassan when at the property. We are considering whether the use of force was necessary and proportionate in the circumstances."

 

Conclusion. 


All the officers under investigation must now be suspend. The bodycam videos and full custody records must be released, and Jeremy Vaughan must resign. 


All this indicates that Mohamud was violently arrested at his home. He then slumped over in transit and was subjected to disproportionate force again when he arrived at the station and was subsequently left in his cell despite being seriously ill, no doubt, due to the manner of his arrest. 


All these revelations now suggest that he was subject to disproportionate police violence and that this was an avoidable death. 


The IOPC continues to communicate to the family through press release. On this occasion they emailed the family, causing one of them great distress while at work. Imagine being randomly emailed this information.This shows a stunning lack of empathy for the family. 


We now know that the South Wales Police and Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughan's press statement of the 15th January was designed to mislead. About his referral of Mohamud's case to the IOPC, Vaughan said. 


"We immediately referred the circumstances surrounding his death to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, who have decided to independently investigate these circumstances.


We did this not because we thought that police officers had done anything wrong, but because it was the right thing to do, to give an independent view on the decisions that we made and the actions that we took."


Such is the seriousness of these failures and omissions, we now believe that this has to be a resignation issue. The Hassan family are seeking public support for this demand. 


It cannot be right that Vaughan, having defended his officers and determining that none of his officers had  "done anything wrong", then suffers no sanction when we now know that five of his officers face serious investigation. 


Quite clearly, his position is now untenable. Trust and confidence are essential to good community relations. Chief Constable's words are important, particularly in response to a suspicious death in police custody. His instinctive defence of his officers implied that Hassan's family accusations of police brutality were unfounded.


That he made this statement and its implied assertion that the family were wrong, in the absence of any objective evidence is deeply disingenuous. 


South Wales Police Crime Commissioner Alun Michael 

The Police Crime Commissioner of South Wales Alun Micael must intervene in order to restore confidence of Black, Asian communities  and allied communities of South Wales. 


Chief Constable Jeremy Vaughans integrity is now compromised. His word has no credibility. He must resign. 


NB: I will be hosting the Free Siyanda Mngaza campaign zoom this Saturday 20th March 2021 starting at 4pm Book your place here. 



Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Remembering Rolan Adams Memorial.

Honoured to be hosting this birthday remembrance celebration for Rolan Adams on what would have been his 49th birthday. It's 30 years ago now and we gather with the Adams family and special guests in celebration of his short life, a life we will never forget. #RolanAdamsMemorial