If I had a pound for every tweet that suggested that the UK is following in Americas foot steps when it comes to police brutality, I would be bloody rich.
Police brutality here in the U.K. Is not new, it has been going on for years. The way it is represented here is simply different to the way it is represented in America. America seems to have this careless attitude towards black lives, hence why the racism over there is so direct and in your face. Whereas here in the UK it is more subtle it’s normally racism disguised as an ignorant comment.
|Rest In Peace Rashan|
After news of Rashan Charles death and the horrible video of his death circulated social media, people started talking about the sadly familiar treatment that black people face when coming into contact with the police, liking it to the way the police in the US treat black people.
Recording police interactions has become an instinctive response for black people, as our own verbal reports of police brutality continues to be ignored. Even video evidence is ignored, but social media has allowed us to spread the truth before the press and authorities can get hold of it and twist the stories.
After watching the video my initial thoughts were anger and confusion as the story and the CCTV footage didn’t match up. The idea that the police officer was attempting to retrieve something from Rashan’s mouth didn’t sit right with me. Anyone with all the correct connections in their brain would know that if someone is choking or has swallowed something, the last thing you do is throw them to the ground. But hey I’m just a regular citizen with no police training, so what do I know?
As always everyone with a racist bone in their body assumed that Rashan was attempting to swallow drugs. It has only recently been released that he didn’t swallow an illegal substance. I don’t understand why Rashan couldn’t have been arrested and questioned. Why such a rush to force him onto the ground? Doesn’t seem professional to me. Then I’m quickly reminded that professionalism goes out the window when it’ comes to black bodies.
The idea that police brutality in the UK doesn’t exist gives the British police something to hide behind. The police here do not have to be as verbally abusive as the police officers across the pond. Over here having a person of colour as a neighbour excludes you from being racist. Being called a racist is more offensive than racism it’s self. Don’t be fooled! If anything police are looking for more reasons to be like the Americans.
There is a mass reluctance to admit that the UK is still very racist.
Racial stereotypes still exist in the UK, the quicker we address them and fix them the quicker we can get on with our lives without fearing being stopped by an officer. These racial stereotypes fuel the irrational force the police use when coming into contact with black people. The irrational fear stems from years of flooding the media with images of out of control dangerous black men.
Rashan is not the first, and I really need it to be the last. Waking up to hear that another brother or sister has died due to a police incident, is too much. I’m not related to Rashan but like all the other cases I feel an overwhelming sense of loss, I can only imagine how his family and friends are feeling. My thoughts will continue to be with them until they get the justice they deserve.
We Need To Talk About Police Brutality In The UK By Siana Bangura / Fader
Why Are We Ignoring Police Brutality in The UK? By Ruth Fajemirokun / Artefact