Haringey Lib Dems says “To rebuild trust the Met should respect protestors”

The Metropolitan Police Service must avoid cracking down on overwhelmingly peaceful Black Lives Matter protests and address other concerns black Londoners have with policing in the capital, Liberal Democrat councillors in Haringey have told Met Commissioner Cressida Dick in an open letter.

Whilst emphasising their appreciation for “the good work the Service does for Londoners of all ethnicities”, the local councillors warned that this risks being overshadowed unless the Met addresses longstanding concerns such as deaths in custody and the disproportionate use of ‘Stop and Search’ against Black Londoners.

They also express alarm at unconfirmed allegations that protesters for racial equality, including children, were subject to ‘kettling’, a controversial crowd control technique which involves penning large groups in a single spot for hours at a time. Adding a warning that this risked escalating tensions.

Cllr ⁦Julia Ogiehor⁩ shares some of her experiences of racism with those kneeling in solidarity with Black Lives Matter in St James’ Square in Muswell Hill
Cllr Julia Ogiehor (Muswell Hill ward), Haringey Lib Dem spokesperson on crime, the community and equalities, commented that:

“The Black Lives Matter movement is forcing a long overdue conversation about racial inequality, not only in the US but also the UK. The police absolutely have to be part of that discussion.

“The courage and dedication of its officers is clear for all to see. However, it is not immune to the prejudices that scar the rest of British society. It is sadly clear that the Met does not treat Londoners who are black or from another ethnic minority in the same way as a white person in their position would be. This will be hard to change but that is not a reason for defeatism but determination.”

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