The United Families and Friends Campaign held their annual procession through London this weekend to demand justice for those who've died in police custody.
Family members of those who’ve died in police custody, or following contact with law enforcement, conducted their annual march through Central London this weekend. Hundreds of people, led by the relatives of those who’ve lost their lives, marched from Trafalgar Square to Downing Street, the home of UK Prime Minister Theresa May.
Over 1,000 people have died in police custody in England and Wales since 1990 reports INQUEST, a UK based charity that campaigns on these issues. There have been no successful convictions of officers in Britain for the deaths.
Organised by the United Families and Friends Campaign, it was an emotional march, made all the more uncomfortable when the precession arrived at the gates to the PM’s residence. The plan was to hand in a petition to the door of Downing Street, but police officers demanded that those poised to hand in the paperwork remove the t-shirts each were wearing that depicted their lost loved ones.
The line was this was orders from Downing Street officials, not the police themselves, but either way tensions were heightened. As speeches were made by those still deep in mourning, supporters wielding placards stood alongside, as an animal rights march passed through the proceedings.
Leon Patterson, Roger Sylvester, Rocky Bennett, Harry Stanley, Sean Rigg, Habib ‘Paps’ Ullah, Azelle Rodney, Christopher Alder, Brian Douglas, Joy Gardner, Paul Jemmott, Ricky Bishop, Mikey Powell, Jason McPherson, Sarah Campbell, Jimmy Mubenga, Paul Coker, Mark Duggan, Sheku Bayoh, Olaseni Lewis, Thomas Orchard, James Herbert, Amy El-Keria, Kingsley Burrell, Darren Neville, Jason McDonald, Mzee Mohammed: the names of some of those now dead whose families were present.
The long battle for justice continues. This was the 19th year that this march has taken place, and sadly it looks as if they’ll need to continue.