Search

Readers' Letters

Editor’s comment :Sad similarity of two police death cases

PUBLISHED: 15:00 24 January 2018

Demonstration on February 12 1983, following the shooting of Colin Roach inside Stoke Newington Police Station. Picture: DAVID HOFFMAN

Demonstration on February 12 1983, following the shooting of Colin Roach inside Stoke Newington Police Station. Picture: DAVID HOFFMAN

© David Hoffman

A young black man dies after contact with police in Hackney.

An angry community, stung by recent injustices, points the finger at the cops.

The official cause of death exonerates officers, but the dead man’s family and friends still have doubts, as does the wider community. Police face no action.

This was the story of Colin Roach, a man whose death was so shrouded in mystery that we don’t know whether he killed himself or was murdered by police.

Accounts of his final moments are so conflicting that a top barrister accused the police of lying about them – as did an inquest jury. Five years later, a centre was set up in his name to investigate police brutality – and subsequently infiltrated by the police themselves, who spied on activists while having romantic relationships with them.

We had already planned to look back at the Colin Roach scandal on this week’s history pages when news of Rashan Charles’ post mortem result arrived.

Some will look at its conclusion, which took six months to come back, and say the case is closed.Others will bemoan the fact no one has been held accountable for the death of a young man.

There are without question great people in the police force who put their safety on the line every day to help and protect Hackney. The Gazette is not blind to that, and is grateful for their hard work and dedication.

But the case of Colin Roach, and what happened to the centre that bore his name, is a timely reminder of why the community may not be satisfied by the conclusions of bodies like the CPS and IOPC who have close links to the police. Thirty-five years after his death, the onus is still on the local force to earn the community’s trust, and Rashan’s cash shows us there is still work to do.

The case of Colin Roach is a reminder of why the community may not be satisfied by the conclusions of bodies who have close links to police

Related articles

Latest Hackney Stories

Saturday, May 26, 2018

To listen to LCD Soundsystem through their intricately produced studio recordings, it’s easy to miss the musicianship James Murphy and his crew of unwilling rock stars command.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

A display in Hackney town hall’s newly refurbished vaults will shed light on the building’s 1930s origins, and the amazing relics unearthed during its £16m revamp. Emma Bartholomew speaks to curator Jacoba Mijnssen about democracy, regalia, and the mysterious cleaning unit uncovered by workers

Saturday, May 26, 2018

So you’ve been training got the big day, it’s been, you had a great time writes Dalston PT Matt Smith, Fitness First.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Middlesex coach Richard Scott hailed his side after a third successive win in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Paul Stirling defied a thigh injury which forced him to bat with a runner to score his second century in less than a week as Middlesex beat Sussex by 74 runs at Hove in the Royal London One-Day Cup.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Block Universe - an international performance art festival taking place in London - is celebrating the artform with an international lineup.

Friday, May 25, 2018

The O’s will play a lot of local teams plus travel to Portugal for a seven-day training camp and it appears a good schedule for Justin Edinburgh’s side

Friday, May 25, 2018

Chelsea Clinton and local poet Jan Nobles appear at this year’s Stoke Newington Literary Festival

PROMOTED CONTENT

To celebrate LGBT history month, Hackney resident Amanda talks about her journey to becoming a foster carer, with the council’s support and training.



Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read

Show Job Lists