Democratic community control of police needed

Protests against police brutality in Cardiff. Photo: Cardiff Socialist Party

Protests against police brutality in Cardiff. Photo: Cardiff Socialist Party   (Click to enlarge: opens in new window)

Cammilla Mngaza, Black Country Socialist Party

PC Benjamin Monk was found guilty on 23 June at Birmingham Crown Court of the manslaughter of ex-Aston Villa footballer Dalian Atkinson, in a trial lasting six weeks. This is the first time in 35 years that a police officer has been convicted of a death in police custody. Since 1990 there have been over 1,700 such deaths.

Dalian died at the hands of PC Benjamin Monk in August 2016. Suffering a mental episode, he was tasered three times, the third time lasting for 33 seconds. Dalian was kicked in the head so hard by the police officer he left marks of his shoe lace.

PC Monk has been sentenced to eight years in prison.

It was discovered that the ex-policeman was on a final written warning for gross misconduct for 18 months from 2011. While going through a vetting process it was discovered that he failed to disclose a caution for theft in 1997 and drunkenness in 1999. Not only was he not sacked, he was still allowed to carry a taser after his gross misconduct hearing.

It has taken nearly five years of fighting for this case to come to trial, during which West Mercia police have not been forthcoming with this information.

We should not have to fight so hard and so long to bring corrupt police to account for crimes they have committed. We are fed up with the police being protected by this capitalist state. As socialists we want and need to promote democratic trade union and community control of the police.

  • End police brutality. Demilitarise the police. Stop the use of horses, tear gas, rubber bullets and tasers
  • Independent workers’ and community inquiries into police violence to identify and remove corrupt police officers