Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/344/5734

From The Socialist newspaper, 24 April 2004

Christopher Alder:

"A Lonely Death With No Dignity"

CHRISTOPHER ALDER is one of 81 black people who have died in police custody since 1990 in England and Wales. Christopher's death, however, is unique - his final eleven minutes was shown to millions in BBC's Rough Justice programme.

Keith Ellis

In April 1998, Christopher suffered concussion and head injuries after a fight, outside the Waterfront nightclub. He was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary by ambulance for treatment. At the hospital Christopher was calm and rational one minute and aggressive another. Dr Nat Cary said his behaviour was consistent with head injuries.

The hospital phoned the police, who arrested Christopher for breach of the peace. Christopher, his hands handcuffed behind his back, was led into the back of a police van. He was then driven to Queens Gardens police station.

Millions saw Christopher's last eleven minutes. Policemen dragged him onto the floor and left him face down, with his hands manacled behind his back and his trousers around his knees. We heard his breathing become erratic and stop. After Christopher's death, another camera recorded someone making "monkey sounds" and laughing.

Five police officers watched Christopher die without helping him. They didn't even progress his arrest. Dr Cary believes proper attention would have saved Christopher's life. A radio phone-in following the programme heard one listener say her neighbour was ashamed to be a policeman.

West Yorkshire Police investigated Christopher's death. Crucial evidence was lost or destroyed. The uniforms worn by the policemen were dry-cleaned. The police van was partially cleaned. An internal police enquiry found the officers blameless.

Christopher's case shows the need for deaths in custody to be treated as a scene of crime with the investigation under the control of democratically elected representatives of a complaints board.

However a coroner's court returned a verdict of unlawful killing. In criminal proceedings the Crown Prosecution Service presented several causes of death. The judge stopped the trial.

Janet Alder, Christopher's sister, demands a public enquiry. Home Secretary David Blunkett hopes an investigation by the Police Complaints Commission will be enough. Readers should write to their local MP supporting Janet's call for a public enquiry.

Socialists call for police forces to be democratically controlled by elected representatives, with responsibility for policing policy.

Janet said Christopher died a lonely death with no dignity, no respect. Janet's campaign shows there will be no justice until the police are democratically accountable to the community they serve.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 24 April 2004:

The Real 'Axis Of Evil'

Bush And Blair's Lies About Handover

Bush Gives Green Light To Ariel Sharon


Socialist Party campaigns

Wanted: A Living Wage For Young Workers

"A Lonely Death With No Dignity"

Make The Police Accountable


International socialist news and analysis

1974: Revolution In Portugal

South Africa: ANC wins Overwhelming Majority


Socialist Party workplace news

Eleven Months On Strike - Sacked Electricians Fight On

UNISON health conference: Reject Agenda For Change


 

Home   |   The Socialist 24 April 2004   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Police:

triangleIrish capitalist state: rotten to the core

triangleOrgreave campaigners' Halloween 'Death of Justice' march

triangleThe "club no-one wants to be part of" - march by families of those killed in police custody

triangleConference on state spies: who's watching who?

triangleSheffield Labour council threatens peaceful protesters with prison

Injuries:

triangleHorror of health-wrecking toil for Polish migrants

triangleThe real health and safety 'madness'

triangleThe scandal of death at work

triangleWorkers die on tower cranes - Con-Dems cut safety regulations

Hospital:

triangleSouth London health bosses' cover-up

triangleTotnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangleSave our NHS

Ambulance:

triangleMassive failings led to Grenfell Tower fire - Rapid, fully funded action now

triangleThe Socialist inbox

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

14/12/17

Waltham Forest

Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

13/12/17

London

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

12/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle14 Dec Stop the rotten redevelopment plan, demand residents

triangle13 Dec Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

triangle13 Dec Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

triangle13 Dec Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

triangle13 Dec Trump's incendiary Jerusalem statement reignites Israeli-Palestinian...

triangle13 Dec Labour 'purge' furore really just democracy

EU parliament, Strasbourg

triangle13 Dec Brexit deal no solution to Tory rifts

More ...

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

triangle21 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Socialists and the National Question

triangle6 Jan Socialist Party national women's meeting

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2