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From The Socialist newspaper, 25 January 2017

Bristol police taser own race relations adviser

Fight for community control of police policy and hiring

Marching against racism, photo Paul Mattsson

Marching against racism, photo Paul Mattsson   (Click to enlarge)

Tom Baldwin, Bristol South Socialist Party

Footage of police in Bristol tasering an innocent black man has made news around the world. The attack was even more shocking because the victim, Judah Adunbi, was a prominent member of the police's race relations group.

The video, captured by a neighbour, shows the 63-year-old being confronted by police with their taser already drawn. They had the wrong person, but threatened to arrest him when he legally refused to give his name.

Officers blocked him from his own back gate, pushed him back and tasered him, causing him to fall to the ground. He had to be taken to hospital and was then held by police for ten hours.

Unbelievably, the victim was charged with assaulting a police officer despite video evidence showing the opposite. The person filming accurately countered police claims: "He wasn't trying to fight... you started it. You both made physical contact first."

The charges have now been dropped. Mr Adunbi was also attacked by police in 2007, and was clear that this was a racist incident.

Sadly, statistics show institutional racism still exists within the police. Avon and Somerset Constabulary's own figures show officers are twice as likely to fire tasers on oppressed racial groups once drawn.

Nationally, black and Asian people are almost three times as likely to be stopped and searched as white people, according to Home Office data from last year.

The Black Lives Matter movement that erupted in the US following police murders of black people has been taken up in this country as well. The anti-Trump protest in Bristol showed its support, stopping outside a police station chanting: "No justice, no peace! No racist police!"

We need to fight for democratic community control of police policy and hiring to start to address institutional racism in the police.

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In The Socialist 25 January 2017:


What we think

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Lancashire: Hospital workers protest consultation

St Austell: STPs attacked

Paignton: organising against hospital closure


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Bristol police taser own race relations adviser

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Socialist Party Marxist analysis

Don't we need competition to spur on progress?


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Huge anger against Trump across Britain

Surrey: Save our fire station

South London: march to save community centres

Obituary: Bernard Roome 1947-2017


Socialist readers' comments and reviews

Ed Balls: 'Speaking Out' for capitalism

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