The independent London newspaper

We are angry at the actions of these police officers

24 July, 2020

• Footage of an arrest in Finsbury Park appearing to show an officer kneeling on a suspect’s neck

• WE are writing to express our disbelief, frustration and indeed anger at the behaviour of police officers in Islington on July 16, when unacceptable and unnecessary force was used against a man who had already been handcuffed, (Officer suspended after ‘disturbing’ footage of Finsbury Park arrest, July 17).

This is particularly distressing in Islington, where the record of the police has been much better than elsewhere.

We agree with solicitor Timur Rustem who pointed out the parallels between what happened to Marcus Coutain and what happened to George Floyd, (Finsbury Park arrest: How often do police officers kneel on suspects? July 24).

The fact that despite the eruption of the Black Lives Matter movement across the globe, including here in Britain, police still feel entitled to behave in this way shows the depth of institutional racism.

It is not only in the United States that Black people have been subject to police harassment as a consequence of racial profiling or have died as a result of police actions.

We particularly remember those who have died from asphyxiation while in custody, including Christopher Alder, Jimmy Mubenga and Mikey Powell.

We send our thanks to those who videoed the incident, without whose intervention the situation could have been considerably worse.

We again agree with Mr Rusten that it is a relief that Marcus’s injuries to his wrists and neck are “fortunately minimal”.

We express our solidarity with Marcus Coutain and to all those who are deeply distressed and concerned about this incident.



Women’s Officer
Islington North Constituency Labour Party


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