Kebba ‘Dobo’ Jobe

Police custody death victims related

from press releases by: UFFC and UK Indymedia
published: 21st May 2004

Any news updates on this case will be listed at the foot of this item

The family and friends of Kebba ‘Dobo’ Jobe have today confirmed that Mr Jobe, who died in police custody on Saturday 15th May 2004, was related to Ibrahim Sey. Ibrahim Sey, a father of two, died on Saturday 16th March 1996 in Ilford Police Station in East London. The inquest evidence established that when in the police station Mr Sey was forced to his knees, his hands cuffed behind his back and surrounded by over a dozen officers.

He was sprayed in the face with CS gas and then restrained face down on the floor for over 15 minutes until he stopped breathing.  Despite the inquest verdict of unlawful killing the Crown Prosecution Service refused to prosecute the officers involved.

Mr Jobe, known to his friends as Dobo, was stopped by police in Camden Lock, North London, at around 2.00pm on Saturday 15th May 2004.  Mr Jobe died following his arrest.  The Independent Police Complaints Commission are overseeing the police investigation into the death.  Friends and family of Kebba gathered outside Kentish Town police station every day between 6pm and 8pm to keep up the pressure and hand out leaflets.

The case of Ibrahim Sey was strongly featured in the ‘Injustice’ film which follows the struggles for justice by the families of people that have died in police custody.  The officers responsible for the death of Mr Sey sought to suppress the film through threats of litigation.  Injustice presents evidence that serving police officers have committed crimes of manslaughter and murder.  Since its first public showing Injustice has had hundreds of screenings in cinemas, film festivals, community centre’s and universities.

It has won prizes for Best Documentary at international film festivals, has been critically acclaimed and has featured on CNN.  Despite this success all television channels in the UK have refused to broadcast the film.

Speaking in the film Kura Jagne, the cousin of Ibrahim Sey said: “Ibrahim, if he was looking down on us now, he wouldn’t want, what happened to him to happen to anybody else so I believe he would want a change in the law and the policing in this country.  “A change in the sense of the law that any police officer involved in a case of manslaughter or murder should go to jail.

Ken Fero the director of Injustice said, “Deaths in custody are increasing at an alarming rate.  Injustice reveals the fact that 1000 people died in police custody between 1969 and 1999. In the year 2002/3 there were 104 police custody deaths, this works out at two people every week. Not one police officer has ever been convicted for these deaths.”

The family of Mr Jobe are being supported by the United Families & Friends Campaign (UFFC) – the coalition of death in custody family campaigns and also by the organisation INQUEST.

Kevin Blowe, from the United Families and Friends Campaign said, “We don’t yet know the full story surrounding Kebba’s death, which is why the United Families and Friends Campaign, the coalition of relatives and friends of those who have died in custody, were giving out leaflets at yesterday’s protest appealing for witnesses to come forward.  “The special powers of arrest and detention that police officers possess comes with a special responsibility to protect those in their custody.  Too many deaths in police custody point to a failure to provide this protection and Kebba Jobe’s death raises serious concerns about the way he was restrained and the use of excessive force amounting to a neglect of duty.”

“Moreover, we should question why black people make up a disproportionately high number of those who die violently in police custody. I have been to too many inquests and listened to too many police officers talk about someone who has died in their care having ‘superhuman strength’ and other racist stereotypes about black people.”

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Follow-up News:

INQUEST report (PDF file)
June 2005

Independent Police Complaints Commission’s update
August 2004

Police watchdog to investigate death
15 August 2004

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