The Metropolitan Police have been found not guilty of perjury in a recent inquest into the death of Sean Rigg.
In August 2008, Sean Rigg was arrested and locked in a police van to be taken into police custody. Rigg had been suffering from a psychotic episode and was restrained in a ‘prone position’. Sergeant, Paul White, was accused of lying when he reported that he had checked Riggs’ medical history. However, CCTV footage proved otherwise – White had not returned to the police van to check on Riggs’ health.
The not guilty verdict has ‘devastated’ the family of the victim. It yet again highlights a failure and refusal to prosecute officers involved in inflicting violence upon victims.
Riggs’ sister said the verdict was a surprise but insisted that the family will ‘…continue to fight for full accountability…’.
Many agree that this verdict only reaffirms that the justice system is institutionally racist – there is a ‘colour of justice’. Deborah Cox, of Inquest, argued that the CPS’s decision-making has, ‘been exposed as a barrier to proper democratic police accountability”.
In the wake of this verdict, anti-racism campaigners are continuing to advocate against police violence and brutality. Campaigners and victims of police violence insist that more must be done to organise ‘non-violent direct action’.
Lee Jasper, chairman of the organisation BARAC, told RT that through direct, non-violent action, black people must defend themselves. Jasper said that it was ‘time’ to ‘go to jail for the right reasons’. Action must be taken in the fight for equality.
Last month, adverts were posted around London and Manchester, to raise awareness of black deaths in police custody. The adverts appeared to be from the Home Office but displayed a ‘subversive’ message.
Victims’ families and organisations such as UFFC and Black Lives Matter UK, continue to raise the profile of police brutality.