Last week families and campaigners demanded an end to Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) inaction over deaths in custody cases.
The demonstration was called by the United Families and Friends Campaign and Stop G4S because of procrastination about whether to charge those involved in the deaths of Azelle Rodney and Jimmy Mubenga. Damning unlawful killing verdicts were recorded into both of these deaths this year. The event was also supported by the families of Sean Rigg, Habib Ullah, Anthony Grainger and Christopher Alder, who are also still waiting for the CPS to make decisions on whether to prosecute those involved in the deaths of their loved ones.
The broad range of individuals (including self-defence campaigner Satpal Ram) and organisations supporting the families included the RMT, Newham Monitoring Project (NMP), South London Anti-Fascists (SLAF), London Campaign Against Police and State Violence (LCAPSV), London Palestine Action, Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA), Miscarriages of JusticeUK (MOJUK) and Tottenham Rights.
Since the demonstration took place on the morning after Nelson Mandela’s death was announced, a number of speakers spoke evocatively of the man and his impact. Marcia (sister of Sean Rigg) and Nasrit (sister of Habib Ullah) were amongst them. And a letter supporting the demonstration, calling on the CPS to take action, was published in the Guardian with key activists concerned about criminal justice supporting: ‘the families’ call to end the agonizingly long time endured as they wait to hear whether anyone will charged in connection with the deaths of their loved ones … for the decision-making process to be transparent and for full reasons to be published. The public interest requires the CPS to ensure that no-one is above the law.’
Read a copy of the letter to the CPS here (word doc, 100kb)