originally by: Final Call
published: 6th December 2011
With an ongoing trial for two White suspects accused of brutally murdering a Black teenager and recent acknowledgement Metropolitan police killed yet another unarmed Black man, the question again arises of whether justice and equality is possible for the 1.5 million sons and daughters of Africa and the Caribbean that call the United Kingdom home.
Police brutality, systematic “stop and search” tactics by law enforcement and disproportionate numbers of Blacks in prison are a few items on a long list of battles being waged to ensure fairness for the masses of Black people in the UK.
Relations between the Black community and the police are strained, views of the justice system are tepid at best and there is little optimism among Blacks that things will change anytime soon.
“I think it’s fair to say that the relationship needs a lot of work,” Elizabeth Pears, a British journalist, told The Final Call when asked how Black Brits feel about the police and court system.
The numbers of Blacks that have died while in police custody is still a huge concern here, she said. “Black people are disproportionately killed in police custody. Also that applies to mental health; Black people with mental health problems are disproportionately represented,” added Ms. Pear, a writer for The Voice, a UK-based Black newspaper.
“If they’re (Blacks) detained under the mental health act, it’s a disproportionate number. That means the police suspect there’s something wrong with them and rather than taking them to a hospital they often get held in police stations and a lot of deaths have resulted in that,” said Ms. Pear.