Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: https://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/216/9149

From The Socialist newspaper, 27 July 2001

Stop police killings

IN THE past week or so, two people have been shot dead by British policemen. Derek Bennett was killed in Brixton on 16 July. Andrew Kernan was shot in Liverpool a few days earlier. Below we report on the protests following DEREK BENNETT and ANDREW KERNAN'S deaths

Derek Bennett:
DEREK BENNETT was carrying a small cigarette lighter in the shape of a toy gun when he was allegedly shot four times - there were three bullets in his back.
Steve Bush

150 people gathered outside Brixton police station on Friday 20 July for a loud and angry demonstration, followed by a march to Angell Town estate where Derek died.

Protesters had already lobbied the Police Consultative Committee on the previous Tuesday with a list of demands including the suspension of the police officers involved.

Protesters repeated these demands on Friday's demonstration. When they returned to the police station, the police had blocked off streets and proceeded to push against the demonstrators, who pushed back.

Police began pouncing on demonstrators six to one, but were forced to free them by community solidarity.

The police then called up van loads of reinforcements in riot gear, which further inflamed the situation, leading to running battles with groups of local youths.

As the police lost any control of the situation, it further degenerated with cars being turned over, dustbins up-ended to form barricades, and eventually shops being attacked and broken into.

The police had warned shopkeepers and businesses in advance to shut early and be prepared for trouble.

This proves that they were ready for a fight. Tension remains high in Brixton, with police vans patrolling the streets, maintaining a high level of intimidation.

The Socialist Party will be at the forefront of the campaign to ensure justice for Derek Bennett, and to fight against further killings and intimidation by police in Lambeth.

We call for a community investigation into this shooting. We demand the disbandment of armed units such as the Firearms Squads, seen locally as today's Special Patrol Group.

Above all we need accountability of the police through democratic control by local people.


Andrew Kernan:
ANDREW KERNAN, suffering from a relapse of schizophrenia, was shot dead in the street this month by Merseyside police.
By a mental health nurse

Andrew was acutely psychotic, his mother and a Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN) had managed to contain him in the family flat in Wavertree, Liverpool.

Six police officers arrived after he became increasingly disturbed, but somehow let him pick up a samurai sword and leave the flat.

Marie Kernan, Andrew's mother said: "I demand justice for Andrew. They shot to kill - twice in the chest when they should not have shot at all. You don't kill somebody with a mental illness. What sort of society is that?"

The police are enshrined with powers to 'section' people in a public place if they believe they're suffering from a mental illness - a Section 136.

Although given this power, a policeman will have half a day's training in dealing with the mental health issues.

This, combined with police racism and unsafe restraint methods, often results in appalling police treatment of the mentally ill.

Section 136 is disproportionately used against ethnic minorities. In some parts of London, a 136 is the most common way for a young black man to be brought into a psychiatric hospital.

I dealt with a 136 one night where the police had written "picking her nose, and eating her food in a disgusting manner in McDonalds" as the reason for sectioning a young black girl.

She was in no way mentally ill.

There have been several inquiries into the use of CS gas on the mentally ill. People with mental illness are more likely to die in custody following being gassed and restrained.

There are some theories that CS gas combines adversely with psychiatric medication.

As a psychiatric nurse in inner London I am involved in the restraint of disturbed patients on an almost daily basis.

We are specifically banned from using "bear hugs" and "neck holds" used by the police as they are known to have possible lethal consequences.

I once gave a statement to a police officer about an incident, he was amazed at the restraint techniques that we use.

He looked even more baffled when I talked about the principle of non-injurious restraint.

Blunkett has called for tranquilliser guns to be used as a 'non-lethal' alternative to firearms.

This summons a nightmare vision of police hunting down the mentally ill on the streets.

Forcible injections of tranquillisers are only done in an hospital environment because of the risk of adverse reactions and the need for very careful dosage.

An overdose of injectable tranquillisers can cause respiratory failure or cardiac problems, an inadequate dose can make a disturbed person more disinhibited.

Partly, people get to the stage where they need to be removed from the street because of the lack of community mental health resources.

The Socialist Party campaigns both for police accountability and the full funding of NHS.

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


In The Socialist 27 July 2001:

Step Up The Fight Against Capitalism

After Genoa - what way forward?

State organised butchery in Genoa

On the march against capitalism

Coventry bus drivers say... Fight For A Living Wage For All

Stop police killings

We need a decent minimum wage


 

Home   |   The Socialist 27 July 2001   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Police:

triangleUndercover policing legal challenge

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?

Psychiatric:

triangle4,800 young people hurt after officers 'restrain' them

triangleKids wait 18 months for mental healthcare

triangle40% of England's psychiatric wards are 'unsafe'

triangle"As a carer, I am expected to pick up the slack"

Mental health:

triangleNHS crisis: under pressure from all angles - end cuts and sell-offs!

triangleClosure of Nottingham unit shows dismantling of NHS

triangleTory prescription for mental illness: stress and bureaucracy

Health:

triangleTragic death exposes criminal understaffing of NHS

triangleNHS - build the fightback

Black:

triangleTower Hamlets Socialist Party: Organising for socialist change

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

20/2/18

Manchester

After 80 strike days Mears workers achieve victory

19/2/18

Walthamstow

Building the campaign against clearances of the working class

16/2/18

Haringey

No fudge with the right wing

15/2/18

TUSC

TUSC statement on sentencing of Derby TUSC agent

14/2/18

Haringey

Haringey protests HDV - but Labour fails to kill it off completely

14/2/18

UCU

Uni strike: coordinate public sector fightback

14/2/18

Cardiff

Enjoyable and successful Cardiff Refugee Rights gig

14/2/18

Carlisle

Carlisle debate - socialism or social democracy?

14/2/18

Firefighters

Staines fire services saved

14/2/18

Surrey

Threat of action defeats pay cut at Surrey council

14/2/18

Woolwich

Woolwich Crossrail walkouts to demand promised bonuses

14/2/18

London

Sadiq Khan's bus drivers' London licence doesn't go far enough

14/2/18

Mansfield

Stop press: victory - campaign saves NHS rehab ward

8/2/18

Newham

Teachers strike again as anti-academy pressure mounts

7/2/18

Unison

Unison national women's conference

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party
Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

LATEST POSTS

CONTACT US

Phone our national office on 020 8988 8777

Email: info@socialistparty.org.uk

Locate your nearest Socialist Party branch Text your name and postcode to 07761 818 206

Regional Socialist Party organisers:

Eastern: 0798 202 1969

East Mids: 0773 797 8057

London: 020 8988 8786

North East: 0191 421 6230

North West 07769 611 320

South East: 020 8988 8777

South West: 07759 796 478

Southern: 07833 681910

Wales: 07935 391 947

West Mids: 02476 555 620

Yorkshire: 0114 264 6551

ABOUT US

ARCHIVE

Alphabetical listing


February 2018

January 2018

2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999