The government will formally apologise through the European court of human rights (ECHR) to the family of Christopher Alder, a black ex-soldier who choked to death in handcuffs on the floor of a Hull police station 13 years ago. The “unilateral declaration” made by the United Kingdom to the court is a highly unusual admission of widespread failures in the investigation into the cause of the Falklands veteran’s death.
Potential jurors in the trial of two men for the murder 18 years ago of the teenager Stephen Lawrence were warned on Monday they must start with a “clean slate” when trying such a “notorious” case. As the defendants, Gary Dobson and David Norris, sat in the glass-fronted dock of court 16 of the Central Criminal Court in the City of London flanked by prison guards, Mr Justice Treacy addressed a panel of potential jurors with a swift resume of the killing and its aftermath, which he said, had attracted much publicity and public comment over many years.
Once again, this year, like every year hundreds gathered for the annual march against deaths in police custody in Britain. Most of those here are family members who say they have lost loved ones at the hands of the police. Like the family of Sean Riggs who died on 21 August 2008. A 40-year old musician, he was arrested in the street by four officers and taken to a nearby police station. He was placed in a metal cage in the yard. 20 minutes later he was dead.
The Metropolitan police’s forward intelligence teams (Fits) have been around for more than a decade, and senior officers say they are a vital tool in keeping tabs on protesters. Amateur spies who oppose police surveillance are a more recent feature at demonstrations.
Tippa Naphtali, the cousin of Mikey Powell said; “When I saw this headline about Jake’s case its first impact was how identical it was to headlines related to my cousin’s case. The more I read about Jake’s death the more I realised the striking similarity of events to those of Mikey’s.
In the waning hours of protests against the execution on Troy Davis by the state of Georgia last Wednesday, one action drew particular notice: a group of six former wardens and correctional officials pleading for clemency.
The scheduled execution of Troy Davis, despite severe doubts about his guilt, has inspired opposition to his death sentence from a wide variety of prominent people.
The IPPC are to independently investigate a complaint by Claris Powell, made following the jury’s verdict at the Inquest into the death of her son, Mikey, in a police van on the way to a police station. The IPCC made this decision on 27 May 2011, after Claris Powell threatened to judicially review their decision to allow West Midlands Police themselves to investigate the complaint against their own officers.