Jesse Jackson calls for public inquiry into British deaths in custody


originally by: Socialist Worker
published: 15th December 2011

Veteran US civil rights activist Jesse Jackson joined with campaigners in London today (Thursday) to throw his weight behind calls for a public inquiry into deaths in police custody.  Jesse Jackson spoke alongside families of some of those who have died in police custody. He noted that 338 people have died in such circumstances since 1998, yet no police officer has been convicted for any of the deaths.

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“The police have permission to behave in this way,” he said. “They are protected by the state. The choice is whether we adjust to oppression, or resist and fight back.”

Speakers talked about the recent revelation that eight in nine senior members of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) are former police officers.

“The IPCC are not independent,” said Marcia Rigg, whose brother Sean Rigg died in Brixton police station in 2008.

“Everything is in favour of the police. The police aren’t treated as suspects—they are treated as witnesses. There’s a massive cover-up, a conspiracy, and it’s institutionalised.”

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