Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Thu Apr 20, 2023 1:09 pm

The police's response to the Casey report is not to has a moment of genuine reflection and contrition before promising to do better. No. Instead, it's response has been to try and start a semantic debate on the meaning of 'institutional bias'. We had Met Police Chief Sir Mark Rowley reject the term as being unnecessarily 'political' and now we have the Chief Constable of Greater Manchester Police, Stephen Watson, tell LBC that no police force in the UK is institutionally racist.

I thought to myself, hold on, the Macpherson report was the first (that I'm aware of) to make the claim that the Met is institutionally racist. I wonder if it defined the term. So I had a look. What I found makes me want to scream. It has also made me lose any lingering respect for the police I may have once had.

The Macpherson report has an early and detailed discussion into racism and the meaning of the term 'institutional racism'. It's in Chapter 6 which is simply titled 'Racism'. The report doesn't have page numbers, just paragraph numbers, but Chapter 6 begins on p41 of the PDF.

I started going through this forensically but I have decided that's not the best approach right now. I'm may do a deeper dive into the chapter later but for now I want to highlight two things:

1) Macpherson comprehensively addressed the difference between institutional and individual racism in 1999 and while there are academic debates about the nuances and specifics, the broad brush strokes are well known and have been for decades. Any senior officer who claims that institutional racism means that individual officers are presumed to be racist is spouting disingenuous bollocks.

2) The police are parroting the EXACT SAME LINES they did in anticipation of Macpherson's report, over 20 years ago.

The difference between institutional and individual racism is clear
Macpherson defined institutional racism thusly,
The collective failure of an organisation to provide an appropriate and professional service to people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. It can be seen or detected in processes, attitudes and behaviour which amount to discrimination through unwitting prejudice, ignorance, thoughtlessness and racist stereotyping which disadvantage minority ethnic people.

It persists because of the failure of the organisation openly and adequately to recognise and address its existence and causes by policy, example and leadership. Without recognition and action to eliminate such racism it can prevail as part of the ethos or culture of the organisation. It is a corrosive disease. [6.34, my emphasis]
Macpherson goes through a history of the term, from its creation in 1967 by black activists Stokely Carmichael and Charles V Hamilton, through its use in a 1981 report on the Brixton Disorders by Lord Scarman (whose hair-splitting could, arguably, be blamed for the semantic nightmare we are currently facing) to the contemporary discussions of the terms by academics and relevant organisations.

As an example of recognising that individuals don't need to be racist for an organisation to be, Chairman of the Black Police Association, Inspector Paul Wilson, told the Inquiry,
...there is no marked difference between black and white in the force essentially. We are all consumed by this occupational culture. Some of us may think we rise above it on some occasions, but, generally speaking, we tend to conform to the norms of this occupational culture, which we say is all powerful in shaping our views and perceptions of a particular community". [6.28]
While Macpherson was trying to ensure that individuals did not receive undue blame for institutional biases, the Met kept wanting to push the line that any racism seen in the investigation of Stephen's murder was all the fault of individual officers,
The evidence of the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in his opening statement placed too much emphasis upon individual racists and individual malpractice (Part 2, Day 3, page 282), and cautioned against the use of the term institutional racism "in new and different ways" (page 292). The Commissioner did not accept that unconscious or covert racism was evident in any area of the Stephen Lawrence investigation... ".... I am not challenging the areas of the behaviour you have described. ....... but by describing those challenges and those issues as institutional racism I think you then extrapolate to all police officers at all times this notion that they are walking around just waiting to do something that is going to be labelled institutional racism because of some collective failure." [6.51, formatting in original]
It is now clear to me that the Met (and other police forces) are not just trying to scapegoat the 'few bad apples' to minimise the institutional culpability, but are trying to make it seem like there's widespread confusion over what the term 'institutional racism' even means. They are trying to sow confusion so that they can make it seem like they're trying to defend their officers when in fact they are trying to put the blame on them and thus remove it from themselves. It's an incredibly selfish and self-serving act.

Police chiefs are repeating 20+ year old lines
Sir Paul Condon, Commissioner of the Met at the time of Stephen's murder, wrote to the Macpherson Inquiry saying,
"I recognise that individual officers can be, and are, overtly racist. I acknowledge that officers stereotype, and differential outcomes occur for Londoners. Racism in the police is much more than 'bad apples' . Racism, as you have pointed out, can occur through a lack of care and lack of understanding. The debate about defining this evil, promoted by the Inquiry, is cathartic in leading us to recognise that it can occur almost unknowingly, as a matter of neglect, in an institution. I acknowledge the danger of institutionalisation of racism. However, labels can cause more problems than they solve." [6.25, my emphasis]
Macpherson replied,
We understand Sir Paul's anxiety about labels. But the fact is that the concept of institutional racism exists and is generally accepted, even if a long trawl through the work of academics and activists produces varied words and phrases in pursuit of a definition. [6.26]
Condon also said,
"....... if this Inquiry labels my Service as institutionally racist the average police officer, the average member of the public will assume the normal meaning of those words. They will assume a finding of conscious, wilful or deliberate action or inaction to the detriment of ethnic minority Londoners. They will assume the majority of good men and women who come into policing ..... go about their daily lives with racism in their minds and in their endeavour. I actually think that use of those two words in a way that would take on a new meaning to most people in society would actually undermine many of the endeavours to identify and respond to the issues of racism which challenge all institutions and particularly the police because of their privileged and powerful position" (Part 2, Day 3, pp 290-291). [6.46]
Compare with what Watson said yesterday,
"People do not differentiate between the nuanced, balanced interpretation that was set forth in Macpherson and the otherwise assertion that people will very often put to our people at 3 o'clock in the morning - 'you're institutionally xyz, your boss says you are these things, therefore you are these things'.

"I think it's universally recognised – we have people in our ranks who ought not to be there who conduct themselves in a racist, homophobic- on and on goes the list.

"I just think we draw the distinction between those who let the side down and the mass." [source]
It's the exact same sentiment and I have no doubt that Watson knows what he's doing.

There is absolutely no attempt from the Met to learn and grow from these Inquiries. They are in a decades-long bunker mentality that has resulted in a PR-based response that tries to spin and obfuscate the findings. They have been blaming 'bad apples' for over two decades now. Even if it was bad apples how long are we supposed to give them to find and remove them? There's been no good-faith attempts to genuinely tackle the issues raised in Macpherson or any of the subsequent investigations. I can't take any of their apologies or reassurances seriously. These aren't organisations that are taking responsibility for their actions and as such I think they have lost any moral authority to police us.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Fri Apr 28, 2023 9:23 pm

HMICFRS has published its inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service’s response to lessons from the Stephen Port murders. The PDF can be found here and an online version is here. The report is 138 pages long. I will be reading and summarising it but haven't had a chance yet.

You can read this piece by Pink News in the meantime which gives the highlights.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's statement on the inspection report is pretty weak, but the Met's statement is even weaker. It does a lot of the bluster the Casey report called them out on - minimising, playing up the 'positives', making it seem like they are fundamentally doing ok but practices just need tweaking, initiative-itis. It's all there. They have a draft plan, it just needs some consulting before being finalised - the exact same process of drafting schemes then try to get the community to sign off on their plans rather than engage with them at the start that Casey criticised.

It reinforces my view that these responses are so deeply embedded in the Met that they will never actually engage with and learn from criticism. There is nothing to stop another Stephen Port, nothing to stop another Wayne Couzens or David Carrick. There's nothing to stop another miscarriage of justice like that of Stephen Lawrence's murder. They have had so many opportunities to reform and have failed to meaningfully take any of them. The Met needs to be closed down.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Sat Apr 29, 2023 10:39 am

Fishnut wrote:
Fri Apr 28, 2023 9:23 pm
HMICFRS has published its inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service’s response to lessons from the Stephen Port murders. The PDF can be found here and an online version is here. The report is 138 pages long. I will be reading and summarising it but haven't had a chance yet.

You can read this piece by Pink News in the meantime which gives the highlights.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan's statement on the inspection report is pretty weak, but the Met's statement is even weaker. It does a lot of the bluster the Casey report called them out on - minimising, playing up the 'positives', making it seem like they are fundamentally doing ok but practices just need tweaking, initiative-itis. It's all there. They have a draft plan, it just needs some consulting before being finalised - the exact same process of drafting schemes then try to get the community to sign off on their plans rather than engage with them at the start that Casey criticised.

It reinforces my view that these responses are so deeply embedded in the Met that they will never actually engage with and learn from criticism. There is nothing to stop another Stephen Port, nothing to stop another Wayne Couzens or David Carrick. There's nothing to stop another miscarriage of justice like that of Stephen Lawrence's murder. They have had so many opportunities to reform and have failed to meaningfully take any of them. The Met needs to be closed down.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Sat Apr 29, 2023 8:39 pm

An inspection of the Metropolitan Police Service’s response to lessons from the Stephen Port murders by His Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services

(Page references refer to the PDF document)

Forward
We begin with a Forward by His Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary Matt Parr. He does not mince words. He starts by summarising the case and highlighting that it wasn't until the fourth murder, that of Jack Taylor, that they the police even realised that these men had been murdered.
Had the police conducted a professional and thorough investigation after Anthony Walgate’s death, it is entirely possible that the other three men would still be alive. But the MPS’s initial response to each of the deaths was reprehensible. [my emphasis, p1]
Oh, these are interesting terms of reference:
The purpose of this inspection was to establish whether eight years after a calamitous litany of failures, the MPS has learned the lessons. In particular, we sought to establish whether this could happen again. [p1]

Parr explains that deaths in the community are referred to the police who then decide whether investigation is warranted. Most (86% in 2022, or 9,481) do receive investigation but the investigation by HMICFRS 'found that five particular issues kept arising in the deaths investigated by the MPS' [p1] and 'collectively, offer the most convincing explanation for why the Port investigations were so badly flawed' [p1].
They are as follows:
• Not enough training is provided to instil in officers an investigative mindset, such as training on coronial matters, sudden death training for response officers and their supervisors, and training to cover the lessons learned from the Stephen Port case;
• Oversight and supervision are poor, such as a lack of supervision when inexperienced response officers attend a report of an unexpected death and inadequate oversight of death reports for the coroner;
• Record keeping is unacceptable, such as poor-quality death reports with basic details omitted or incorrectly recorded, confusing case-management systems, and incorrectly packaged, labelled and recorded property and exhibits;
• Policy and guidance is confusing, such as an overwhelming amount of policy and guidance (often undated and poorly constructed) that causes confusion; and
• Intelligence and crime analysis processes are inadequate, which can lead to the reliance on luck to identify links between deaths at a local level and make it less likely that any links between minor incidents and crimes, that may be precursors to more serious events, are identified. [p1-2]
Parr recognises and accepts that the Met is overstretched 'But it doesn’t absolve the MPS of its responsibility to meet basic requirements.' [p2].

Parr also acknowledges the Casey report and its finding of institutional homophobia. Interestingly, Parr doesn't think it's possible to determine whether homophobia played a role in the mishandling of this case, and thinks that the five failings listed about are the 'primary explanation for the MPS's flawed investigations' [p2].

Wow,
The most challenging question for us to answer is whether events like these could happen again. History and the findings of this inspection tell us that they will. [my emphasis, p2]
I'm going to skip the summary for now as I think we'll be covering the areas of discussion in greater detail but will come back to it at the end to see its recommendations.

Introduction
We start with a brief summary of of Port's murders which started in June 2014. The report points out,
Despite obvious similarities, the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) failed to see that the deaths might be connected. The force even failed to recognise that the four men, who were all gay, had been murdered. [p23]
I didn't realise but there was a coroner's inquest into the deaths of Gabriel Kovari and Daniel Whitworth in May 2015, months before Jack Taylor was murdered. The coroner returned open verdicts in June 2015, 'saying there was no reliable evidence on which to base her findings.' [p23] That open verdict has since been quashed by the High Court.

HMICFRS was commissioned in December 2021 to produce this investigation.
We were asked to inspect the MPS’s current standard of death investigations and assure the then MPS Commissioner, Cressida Dick, and the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime that the MPS had learned from these cases. We focused on five broad areas, following the terms of reference for this inspection, which are:
• initial death categorisation and investigation procedures;
• family liaison processes in relation to death investigation;
• inclusion, diversity and equalities considerations when investigating death;
• leadership and accountability of death investigation; and
• learning lessons from ongoing investigations. [p24]
As with the Casey Review, the open IOPC investigation into the officers involved in the initial investigations means this investigation can't comment on this or the IOPC's involvement. However, HMICFRS was also asked to cary out a separate thematic inspection of homicide prevention in English and Welsh police forces and that inspection is due to be published this summer. Another one to keep an eye out for.

Chapter 1 - A summary of the Metropolitan Police Service’s response to the four deaths
We start with a brief bio of Stephen Port. He is openly gay and would meet men for sex through hook-up apps, often at Barking Rail Station, then take them to his flat. 'There, he drugged and raped many of them.' [p26]

While Port had no criminal convictions at the time of his first murder, 'had already come to the attention of the police on two occasions' [p27] and there were incident reports on file which 'should have raised concerns because of their similarities to the circumstances of Anthony Walgate’s death.' [p27].

The first report was made on 1 January 2013 by a former partner who said that Port repeatedly drugged and raped him. The victim didn't support a criminal prosecution but the information was recorded.

A second report was made on 4 June 2014 - two weeks before Port's first murder - by British Transport Police who found Port at Barking Rail Station with a man 'under the influence of drugs' [p27]. Port said he'd met the man through the internet.

Anthony Patrick Walgate
Anthony 'Ant' Walgate was born on 8 May 1991. He grew up in Hull and was living in London, studying fashion, when he was murdered by Port some time between 17 and 19 June 2014. He was 23 years old.

Port dumped his body in the street outside the block of flats where he lived then made an anonymous 999 call saying that he'd found a young man who'd collapsed. While officers attending the scene thought there were signs of bruising on Anthony's torso, a crime scene manager said it was due to blood accumulating in his lower extremities following death.

Police were able to trace Port through his mobile which he'd used to report 'finding' Anthony. They got a written statement from him, saying that he'd found Anthony when returning home from work.

A post mortem found bruising on his inner upper left arm, that his boxer shorts were inside out and back to front and the fly on his jeans was open with a broken zip. Despite all these red flags, the examination was 'inconclusive, although the findings were consistent with a drug overdose' [p28]. Toxicology results weren't received until 10 September 2014, almost 3 months later, and after two more victims had already been killed.

By 26 June 2014 the investigating officers had found the report by Port's former partner. They'd also had friends of Anthony's identify Port as the man he'd arranged to meet, though under a false name.

Port was interviewed and admitted that he'd met Anthony for sex but claimed Anthony drugged himself, left him when he went to work and panicked when he returned and found him dead.
During the interviews, Port apparently referred to the 2014 incident at Barking Railway Station. The interviewing officers didn’t realise the significance of what he was saying and failed to request a PND record check to investigate it further. p28]
Port was charged with perverting the course of justice, to which he pleaded guilty and was was sentenced to 8 months in prison on 23 March 2015. He committed two more murders while on bail and another after he was released.

Gabriel Kovari
Gabriel Kovari was born on 17 June 1992 in Košice, Slovakia. He had finished his degree in Slovakia and was in London hoping to use his language skills to work as a translator in the NHS [source]. He met Port online and moved in with him on 23 August 2014. He shared his location with a friend (Anthony had also told friends who he was meeting and where - these are men who know they are vulnerable and are doing what they can to keep themselves safe. That it didn't work is heartbreaking). He was 22 when he was killed.

Gabriel was found by Barbara Denham who was walking her dog and two others on her usual route through St Margaret's Churchyard in Barking. He was slumped against a wall and at first she thought he had just had a rough night but after trying to politely rouse him decided to call the police. She said his glasses were 'skew-whiff' and had a 'large black trolley bag and a smaller black bag with him' which she thought was 'strange'. [source].
The police attended and, again, found no sign of apparent injury... The police didn’t treat his death as suspicious. [p29]
The toxicology report didn't come back until 7 October 2014, after Daniel Whitworth had been murdered, and showed fatal levels of GHB.

Gabriel's friends made better detectives than the police:
Gabriel’s friends started to make their own enquiries into his death. One found an app user who appeared to know Gabriel. The app user said his name was Jon Luck. They exchanged frequent messages. ‘Luck’ was, in fact, Stephen Port. [p29]
Daniel Whitworth
Daniel Whitworth was born on 22 March 1993. He was born and raised in Gravesend and was working there as a chef when he was murdered. He was in a long-term relationship with Ricky Waumsley, who has subsequently spoken out about his treatment by the Met and their poor investigation of Daniel's murder.

Daniel arranged to meet Port on 18 September 2014 and, in the most incredible bad luck, Barbara Denham - the lady who found Gabriel's body - found Daniel's in the same place on the morning of the 20th. He was holding an apparent suicide note saying he was to blame for the death of 'Gabriel Kline'. Daniel was 21 years old.
The police emailed a fragment of the note to Daniel’s father and asked him to identify his son’s handwriting. Conflicting evidence was later given at the inquests as to whether he had done this. Daniel’s father said that he couldn’t be sure, while the police said that he had made a positive identification. Regardless, the police treated the note as authentic.

We understand that the police took possession of an address book which Daniel used. Apparently, the handwriting in the book was clearly different to that on the supposed suicide note. The police didn’t compare it. [p29-30]
Daniel's partner Ricky said he wasn't shown the letter until a year after his murder.

'The post-mortem examination was, again, inconclusive' [p30]. The toxicology results weren't received until November 2014 and the final post-mortem report wasn't received until April 2015, by which time the investigation had been closed and Port was in prison for perverting the course of justice.

Jack Taylor
Jack Taylor was born on 20 June 1990 in Newham and was living with his family in Dagenham at the time of his murder. He worked in a warehouse. Jack met Port through the internet and met up in the early hours of 13 September 2015 in Barking.

He was found by a parks worker on September 14 2015 on the other side of the wall that Gabriel and Daniel were found. [source] He was 25 years old.

Jack's parents were told of Jack's death by police officers in the most horrendous fashion:
When Jack Taylor's parents received a knock on the door from police, they had no clue their son had been murdered by a serial killer – and neither did the officers investigating his death.

"Are you Jack's mum and dad?" an officer asked them.

"Yes," Jack's parents replied.

"He's dead," the officer said. [source]
Despite being the third young man found in that churchyard in just over a year, the staging of the scene by Port was apparently sufficient to convince the police it was a 'non-suspicious drug overdose' [p30].

Jack's family were not convinced - he was hoping to join the police and was anti-drugs - so they set out to do their own investigations.
They trawled through his Facebook and came across an online article about two other men - Gabriel Kovari and Daniel Whitworth - being found dead in the church grounds in Barking.

Donna said she gave police all the information they needed to link the deaths but was met with a "closed-minded attitude". [source]
The police eventually obtained CCTV of Jack in Barking, walking with a man, and an officer from the investigation into Anthony Walgate's death recognised Port.
It was only then that the MPS linked the cases and started a thorough reinvestigation. [p30]
The investigation says that,
The initial police response to the deaths of four young men, whose bodies were found in the open, was wholly unacceptable. The MPS failed to carry out even the most basic enquiries and in only one case (the first, Anthony Walgate) conducted anything approaching a competent investigation. Furthermore, its interaction with the victims’ families wasn’t good enough. It was uncaring and, at times, virtually non-existent.

The MPS treated each case in isolation and failed to find, or even look for, the obvious links between them. They decided that each cause of death was a self-administered drug overdose and generally looked for little else. Even when the same officers attended different deaths in almost identical circumstances, their suspicions weren’t aroused.

Had officers shown even a little more awareness, Stephen Port’s potential involvement would have become apparent very quickly...

Even when the coroner raised concerns about bruising and a failure to forensically examine items, including DNA and fingerprint examinations, the police did nothing. They didn’t even properly investigate the authenticity of Daniel Whitworth’s supposed suicide note.

These failings have largely been attributed to the action, or inaction, of local officers. But central specialist teams must also shoulder the blame. When local officers realised that Port had lied to them about Anthony Walgate’s death, they asked the MPS’s homicide and major crime command unit to take charge of the investigation. It declined to do so, as the investigation hadn’t yet been assessed as homicide. With all its experience and resources, had it taken over, much of what followed could have been averted. [my emphasis, p30-31]
We end this chapter with a brief description of Operation Lifford, the name given to the reinvestigation into the deaths of the four men once Port had been identified as a potential link.
Faced with the prospect of using their limited resources and experience to investigate a serial killer, they turned, again, to the MPS’s specialist murder investigators. Surprisingly, the specialist team didn’t initially accept primacy for the investigation. But the next day (15 October 2015) it reviewed its decision and took charge. [my emphasis, p31]
This investigation was 'swift, painstaking and thorough – as the original investigation should have been' [p31]. The experienced officers who reviewed the evidence and available information arrested port and charged him with the four murders.
But the investigators didn’t stop there. They suspected that there were more victims who were still alive. Working with LGBTQ+ charities and support groups, they appealed for them to come forward. As a result, Port was later charged with a series of other serious sexual offences against eight different men. Then, in preparation for trial, the police reviewed hundreds of previously reported attacks looking for any connections to Port.

Stephen Port’s trial at the Central Criminal Court (The Old Bailey) lasted for more than two months. He faced 29 charges, which included 4 murders, 7 male rapes, 4 other assaults by penetration and 10 charges of administering GHB to stupefy for a
sexual purpose. In November 2016, he was convicted of 22 offences against a total of 11 men (including the four murder victims). The trial judge sentenced him to life imprisonment with a whole life order. [my emphasis, p32]
It makes me want to cry with anger. So many lives irrevocably harmed because the police couldn't make the most obvious of connections or show the least bit curiosity about the deaths of four young men. The fact that the families were the ones who were able to make the connections necessary to identify Port as a viable suspect in the murder shows that no special skills or technological access was needed. All that was needed was the drive to actually go and look into the obvious anomalies. It's disgusting how negligent the police have been.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Wed May 03, 2023 9:03 pm

Chapter 2. HM coroners’ inquests
As I mentioned in my previous post, the inquests of Daniel Whitworth and Gabriel Kovari took place in June 2015, before Jack Taylor had been murdered. The coroner returned open verdicts. When Port was arrested, the inquests into Anthony Walgate and Jack were paused until Port's trial ended.

In October 2021 new inquests took place. These were jury inquests and they found that all four men had been unlawfully killed. All documents relating to the inquest can be found here.

The coroner wrote an in-depth report titled The Coroner's Report on Action to Prevent Future Deaths, referred to by the HMICFRS report as the Regulation 28 report in reference to the legislation which permitted its production. I'm just going to call it the Coroner's report.

The coroner found matters that concerned her and said that,
In my opinion, there are risks that future deaths could occur unless action is taken to address those risks. [Coroner's report, p10]
She had a list of specific concerns as well as several overarching issues. As summarised by the HMICFRS report,
These included:
• a lack of professional curiosity by the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) officers who investigated the deaths;
• applying misconduct and unsatisfactory police performance regulations directed to some officers involved in the investigations; and
• potential prejudice, in the form of assumptions, stereotyping and unconscious bias, which may have detrimentally affected the MPS’s decision-making in these investigations. [p34]
In response to the coroner's concerns about misconduct and unsatisfactory police performance the IOPC reopened its investigation into several officers and we're still waiting for that to be finished.

In terms of prejudice, the coroner passed her concerns on to Baroness Casey who was writing her report at the time. Casey was 'unable to publicly set out our view on whether homophobia played a role in the investigation itself' [Casey Report, p252] due to the ongoing IOPC investigation. Given her conclusion that the Met is institutionally homophobic I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to suggest she likely does think homophobia played a role here.

The coroner's matters of concern were put under seven topic headings:
• Topic 1: categorisation of suspicious, non-suspicious and unexplained deaths.
• Topic 2: the interaction between specialist homicide investigators and basic command unit (BCU) officers.
• Topic 3: leadership.
• Topic 4: use of the crime report information system (CRIS) and the new IT system, CONNECT.
• Topic 5: verification of handwriting.
• Topics 6 and 7: death messages and coroners’ observations.
These matters of concern are addressed to specific people who then had to respond. The responses by the Met are considered in Chapter 10 so we won't get to them just yet.

Topic 1: Categorisation of suspicious, non-suspicious and unexplained deaths
Guidance at the time advised that when the cause of death was uncertain it should be treated as a homicide until proven otherwise. Yet the officers investigating these deaths treated them from the start as 'unexplained' rather than actually investigating the circumstances surrounding them. Though the guidance says to treat them as suspicious until proven otherwise, the coroner expressed concern that the use of the term 'unexplained' in the guidance description 'may once again distract officers from the correct and necessary approach' [Coroner's report, p15].

Topic 2: The interaction between specialist homicide investigators and BCU officers
As described in the Casey report, frontline policing was done by Borough Policing Command Units (BOCU, now larger Basic Command Units, BCUs). For specialist investigations such as for homicides there are specialist units. At the time, the process was for the homicide and major crime command (SCO1) to take over investigations when homicide was suspected. Yet when it was suspected that Anthony Walgate had been murdered, SCO1 refused to take over the investigation. They also refused to take over the investigation into Daniel Whitworth's death, despite the apparent confession note from Gabriel Kovari as an attempt to explain it.

The coroner was concerned 'that the current policy framework guiding decisions on primacy still lacks clarity' [Coroner's report, p17] and that the level of support offered by Major Investigation Teams when they didn't take over cases was often unsatisfactory.

Topic 3: Leadership
The coroner calls out the same lack of leadership and supervision that Casey found.
The coroner gave some examples of these errors and oversights, including:
• failure to conduct basic intelligence checks on Stephen Port on the Police National Database;
• failure to examine Stephen Port’s laptop;
• failure to review digital evidence from the laptop in a targeted fashion;
• failure to obtain phone data;
• failure to appreciate the significance of witness evidence;
• various failures to take and/or submit forensic samples; and
• reports, completed by a detective inspector for the coroner, which contained serious material inaccuracies. [HMICFRS report, p38]
Oh wow:
The coroner heard evidence that a specialist crime review group (SCRG) could have helped the Barking criminal investigation department determine whether there was any link between the deaths. But a BCU detective inspector gave evidence that in 2014 he was unaware of the SCRG’s existence and that the SCRG, in his experience, rarely worked with local investigators. [my emphasis, HMICFRS report, p39]
While there have been efforts to make the existence of this group more widely known, it still seems to be off most people's radar.

Topic 4: Use of the CRIS and the new IT system, CONNECT
CRIS is the Crime Report Information System and is used for every investigation. But it was used incorrectly (I think details were entered wrongly, boxes not ticked etc, which meant that when searches were done relevant matches weren't made. I'm just speculating here but that's the implication I get). A new system, CONNECT, is coming but the coroner is concerned this will have the same problems.

Topic 5: Verification of handwriting
This concern was only addressed to the Chair of the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC), not to the Met (I don't know why).
...a handwritten note was found with Daniel Whitworth’s body. It purported to be a suicide note and also gave a potential explanation for Gabriel Kovari’s death. As the coroner noted, the question of whether the note was indeed written by Daniel was, therefore, absolutely critical to the investigation of both deaths. [HMICFRS report, p40]
The police really f.cked up verifying this note was written by Daniel.
The officer tasked with ascertaining whether the handwriting was Daniel’s did not go to visit Daniel’s father in person to show him the note in its entirety. Neither did she try to prepare him for the task. Instead, as I have explained above, she emailed a scan of a one-line fragment to Daniel’s father and telephoned him a few minutes later to ask if it was his son’s. The police did not take a statement from Daniel’s father regarding the handwriting; they did not show the note to Daniel’s partner, and although they did seize a handwritten list by way of comparison, this was only one (somewhat unsatisfactory) sample, and no comparison appears to have been undertaken. [my emphasis, Coroner's report, p20]
Topics 6 and 7: Death messages and coroner’s observations
Though these two issues don't create the risk of future deaths, the coroner thought they were significant enough issues to raise in her report. The first is about how the police informed the next of kin about the death of their loved ones.
The coroner heard evidence in this regard which shocked and disappointed her. In three cases, the officers delivering the death messages made errors. In Gabriel Kovari’s case, the police didn’t even contact the family, who lived abroad. [HMICFRS report, p41]
The second issue regards the police response to the first inquests into Daniel Whitworth’s and Gabriel Kovari’s deaths. The original coroner returned open verdicts and listed a litany of concerns regarding evidence that might suggest that foul play had occurred, yet the police did nothing.

Additional matter of concern: Sleepyboy
This matter of concern was addressed only to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. Sleepyboy is a website for soliciting escorts and while there is a verification process for escorts, there's no requirements from those hiring them. Anthony gave his friends details of Stephen Port's alias, Joe Dean, including a photo and it was this that enabled the police to confirm that Anthony had met Port before his death. The coroner felt there should be some requirement for those using Sleepyboy to hire escorts should also have to verify their identity in order to protect escorts.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Sat May 06, 2023 7:21 pm

Last night the Met's Territorial Support Group arrested a group of volunteers who work for Night Stars, part of Westminister City Council's night safety team. From their website,
Working in partnership with the Metropolitan Police and supported by Capital Arches Group, Northbank and Heart of London Business Alliance Business Improvement Districts, our Night Star volunteers are focused on working with the West End’s evening and night-time economy businesses to promote women’s safety and reduce violence against women and girls. [my emphasis]
They were arrested for the possession of rape alarms. They hand out these alarms to women as part of their role. While the police haven't given any statement that I can see, and haven't apologised to the volunteers, I'm guessing that they were on heightened alert on the eave of the coronation. Given they've been preemptively arresting protesters they'd initially being given assurances they could go ahead with their protest, arresting volunteers of a group they are partners with doesn't seem that surprising.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Sat May 06, 2023 8:02 pm

The Met are now claiming they received 'intelligence' that people were going to use rape alarms to disrupt the coronation procession by scarring the horses. Ignoring the fact that the horses are trained to deal with, among other things, crowds, fireworks, fly-passes and cannons, the people arrested were in Soho at 2am wearing their fluorescent pink hi-vis vests showing they were part of the Night Stars group. They were kept for 14 hours - far longer than is necessary to confirm they are volunteers helping keep women safe in Soho. This is such utter, utter bollocks.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Sat May 06, 2023 9:44 pm

The i has a write-up, meanwhile the Daily Mail is going down the propaganda route as per usual.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Gfamily » Sat May 06, 2023 10:49 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sat May 06, 2023 8:02 pm
The Met are now claiming they received 'intelligence' that people were going to use rape alarms to disrupt the coronation procession by scarring the horses. Ignoring the fact that the horses are trained to deal with, among other things, crowds, fireworks, fly-passes and cannons, the people arrested were in Soho at 2am wearing their fluorescent pink hi-vis vests showing they were part of the Night Stars group. They were kept for 14 hours - far longer than is necessary to confirm they are volunteers helping keep women safe in Soho. This is such utter, utter bollocks.
Well trained horse (not saying you're wrong, but that the police justification is just pants.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by temptar » Wed May 10, 2023 5:55 pm

I am not sure if this belongs here but the Met found files relating to the Daniel Morgan case in a locked cabinet.

https://liveapp.inews.co.uk/2023/05/10/ ... ntent.html

I don't know what to say but...

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Wed May 10, 2023 6:35 pm

temptar wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 5:55 pm
I am not sure if this belongs here but the Met found files relating to the Daniel Morgan case in a locked cabinet.

https://liveapp.inews.co.uk/2023/05/10/ ... ntent.html

I don't know what to say but...
Definitely counts. I'm starting to think that in addition to being institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic we should add institutionally incompetent.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Wed May 10, 2023 7:34 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 6:35 pm
temptar wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 5:55 pm
I am not sure if this belongs here but the Met found files relating to the Daniel Morgan case in a locked cabinet.

https://liveapp.inews.co.uk/2023/05/10/ ... ntent.html

I don't know what to say but...
Definitely counts. I'm starting to think that in addition to being institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic we should add institutionally incompetent.
Well it could have been part of the "institutionally corrupt" that they were also found to be
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Wed May 10, 2023 8:09 pm

jimbob wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 7:34 pm
Fishnut wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 6:35 pm
temptar wrote:
Wed May 10, 2023 5:55 pm
I am not sure if this belongs here but the Met found files relating to the Daniel Morgan case in a locked cabinet.

https://liveapp.inews.co.uk/2023/05/10/ ... ntent.html

I don't know what to say but...
Definitely counts. I'm starting to think that in addition to being institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic we should add institutionally incompetent.
Well it could have been part of the "institutionally corrupt" that they were also found to be
I dunno, I feel corruption requires some level of competence to pull off
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Jun 27, 2023 8:07 pm

Finally getting back to the report by HMICFRS on the Met's failure to stop Stephen Port before he'd killed 4 young men.

Chapter 3. The Metropolitan Police Service’s structure
This has been comprehensively covered by the Casey review so I won't linger. HMICFRS notes the inexperience of the workforce, particularly in local policing teams.
We were told during this inspection that it wasn’t unusual for a local detective to have less experience than the officers at the scene who were asking for guidance. [p44]
We have a load of acroynms which I'm going to list in case they become relevant later.

SCC - Specialist Crime Command - introduced by the Met in 2019, the SCC comprises two units and is divided into four specialist crime hubs, two in North London, two in South London.

HAT - Homicide Assessment Team - they attend homicides and suspected homicides. They have cars to provide mobile support which are officially called 'specialist crime cars' but are commonly called HAT cars. Their use must be approved by the specialist crime tasking and co-ordination team following a request from a BCU officer of at least detective inspector rank.

MIT - Major Investigation Teams - they have a pan-London responsibility to investigate homicides and other non-accidental deaths. Each specialist crime hub has five MITs, led by a detective chief inspector managing 25 officers covering a range of skills and experience.

4. Death investigation policy and guidance
This chapter goes through the policies and guidance available to the Met in relation to responding to reports of unexpected deaths and investigating suspicious ones. These are listed chronological order.

National policy and guidance
The Byford report (1981) was the result of an official inquiry into the failures of the Yorkshire Ripper murders and led to "extensive changes to police investigative techniques" [p46] including the introduction of major incident room standardised administrative procedures (MIRSAP) which have been used since 1982 with refinements and developments over the years. The latest version was introduced in 2021.

The National Investigation Manual was introduced in 1998, with the latest edition published in 2006. It served as national guidance until 2021 when it was replaced with the Major Crime Investigation Manual (MCIM 2021).

Metropolitan Police policy and guidance

There's an "overwhelming amount of policy and guidance" [p47], so much that it leads to confusion. A lot of it is outdated and undated, making it hard to know what's active policy and what should be archived.

HMICFRS make their first and second recommendations here:
Recommendation 1
By 30 September 2023, the Metropolitan Police Service policy manager should make sure that any references to out-of-date policies and guidance about unexpected death on the force’s intranet are archived so that only current policies, guidance and toolkits are available to officers and staff. [p47]

Recommendation 2
By 30 September 2023, the Metropolitan Police Service policy manager should develop and start a process to make sure that policies, guidance and toolkits about the investigation of unexpected death are:
• always kept current;
• subject to clear version control;
• assessed at the appropriate security classification and managed in accordance with the requirements of the classification, including the application of protective marking;
• allocated to a policy owner whose identity should be clearly displayed on the policy document; and
• subject to regular review, as often as is suitable for the policy, guidance or toolkit. [p48]
They go through the most relevant policies and guidance, starting with MPS Special Notice 6/99 that was introduced after the Stephen Lawrence Inquiry and "gave comprehensive guidance on homicide investigation" [p48] which is still referred to frequently.

The Met introduced toolkits in 2013 to provide "checklists of the required and discretionary activities that officers should complete or consider when investigating sudden and unexpected deaths" [p49]. They were revised after they were found to be being used inconsistently and a new toolkit was introduced in 2016.

I'm finding it a little hard to follow but I think some of the revisions were in direct response to the failings of the Port investigations.

The 2016 made some significant changes but nothing to the way investigations reports were recorded.

The toolkits were revised and renamed 'policy' in 2017, and revised again in 2018 and 2020 following a review of al GHB-related deaths in London between 1 June 2011 and 18 October 2015. Another revision took place in 2022 during the HMICFRS inspection.

These constant revisions remind me of the identification of Initiative-itis in the Casey report. While not quite the same as these are revisions to policies, rather than short-term schemes, they seem part of an ethos of being seen to do something quickly even if it's ephemeral, rather than taking the time to actually design something comprehensive and long-lasting. I understand that policies shouldn't be set in stone forever, but five revisions in less than 10 years for something as central as investigating unexplained deaths seems concerning. If your policy is in need of so many revisions maybe it's not very good. I can see the need for changes if, say, new technologies are introduced but other than that it feels like this is something you should have already worked out how to do well.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by jimbob » Tue Jun 27, 2023 8:45 pm

We could probably add in the witholding of information from the McPherson report on corruption within the Met
Have you considered stupidity as an explanation

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Gfamily » Sun Aug 06, 2023 6:22 pm

FFS, I know it's not really a surprise, but FFS still.

Met only authorised baton rounds for black-led events, FOI reveals
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/202 ... oi-reveals
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Fri Aug 25, 2023 9:37 pm

Yet another racist and abusive Met officer. This time it's PC Thomas Phillips, who has been sentenced to 71 days in prison (a really random number) after sending WhatsApp messages to his ex-girlfriend (also a police officer) as part of a 'campaign' of offensive messages about her new boyfriend (also a police officer) in which he described him "as a “n****r” and a “mongrel”.

He pleaded guilty to five counts of sending a grossly offensive/obscene/inappropriate message using a public communication network.
Judge Louisa Cieciora... concluded Phillips had no realistic prospect of rehabilitation, citing a probation report that said Phillips harboured "core beliefs of racial hatred as well as misogyny".
As always, the Met has responded with the 'bad apples' excuse.
DCI Andrew Featherstone, responsible for Met Intelligence, said: “Phillips’s actions were completely unacceptable and there is no place for that behaviour in the Met.

“The content of his messages do not reflect the views of the vast majority of officers who work tirelessly every day to deliver for the people of London.”
Phillips only resigned (wasn't sacked) on 15 August of this year (not when he was first interviewed under caution in 2022).
“A misconduct hearing will take place at the earliest opportunity,” a force spokesperson said.
It's laughable really. The guy is going to be in prison for a couple of months. He got to resign. I'm not sure what good a misconduct hearing will do at this point. Really they need to address why his ex-girlfriend was scared that fellow officers would believe him over her, and why a racist domestic abuser was ever able to join the Met in the first place. Every news story I see about the Met further reinforces that Casey was right and the whole institution needs tearing down.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 19, 2023 8:42 am

The Met has admitted that 3% of its officers are currently suspended or on restricted duties. There's also been 100 dismissals for gross misconduct in the last 12 months, a 66% increase on previous years.
Deputy assistant commissioner Stuart Cundy, who has been leading the reforms, said it would be years before the work was done. He said a “paradox” in the process meant the harder they worked, the more cases of misconduct and possible criminality would be uncovered.
I'm not sure he's understood what a paradox is.

275 officers are now awaiting a gross misconduct hearing (which is interesting as they say that only 201 are suspended, does that mean that you can still work while being accused of gross misconduct?). A 'significant proportion' of those involve violence against women and girls.
The number of reports from the public and officers of alleged misconduct has doubled.

The force has also checked all officers against records on the police national computer, uncovering 11 cases that were subject to further assessment and five are now gross misconduct investigations.
Despite all this I am sure that the Met will hold onto their 'few bad apples' line the next time an officer gets convicted of rape.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Opti » Tue Sep 19, 2023 8:02 pm

I wasn't sure which thread to put this in. There must be some strange situation occurring to warrant Tasering a 12 year old girl ... twice.
I look forward to any justification that is used to justify this.
Time for a big fat one.

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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Tue Sep 19, 2023 9:06 pm

Opti wrote:
Tue Sep 19, 2023 8:02 pm
I wasn't sure which thread to put this in. There must be some strange situation occurring to warrant Tasering a 12 year old girl ... twice.
I look forward to any justification that is used to justify this.
A bit more info. The incident occurred in January 2021 and a review occurred shortly after, which concluded that "no misconduct was identified".

The girl was in her own home and tasered twice.

She was apparently "threatening a woman with garden shears and a hammer."

This is a scary situation to find yourself in and I can understand why police were called. But I find it very concerning that they had no ability to de-escalate the situation and instead tasered her.

In searching for more information I came across this story. In March of this year n 11 year old boy in Scotland was tasered after waving a knife around. He was backed into a corner by 5 officers and despite massively outnumbering him they were unable to safely resolve the situation and so tasered him instead. It seems that one of the officers filmed the incident on his phone. According to one eye-witness,
“Officers were bearing down on him and it seemed like he was in panic mode. Even though the Taser was aimed at him it was still disturbing when it was actually fired.

“The lad was badly shaken up and screaming out in pain and shock.”
I also found this report on the use of force against pregnant women by Met officers.
In total, the Met made 4,117 arrests of self-described pregnant or possibly pregnant women over this period, a stat which means that more than half of recorded interactions with these women involved some use of force – ranging from compliant handcuffing and the drawing of a baton, to the use of dogs, irritant spray, body restraints, spit hoods and Tasers...

The youngest self-described pregnant or possibly pregnant person who was arrested by any force and subject to a restraint technique was a 12-year-old girl arrested by the MET in 2020. But the exact method was not disclosed. The force also used an unspecified restraint method on a self-described pregnant or possibly pregnant 13-year-old girl in 2018 and a 14-year-old girl in 2019.
All those stories were on the first page of google results.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Sun Sep 24, 2023 9:48 pm

Chris Kaba isn't someone who's really been mentioned here before. Discovolante briefly mentioned a demo for him but other than that we've been depressingly quiet on his death.

To catch everyone up, Chris Kaba was 24 years old when he was shot by an armed Metropolitan police officer and killed on September 5 2022.

Chris Kaba

Chris Kaba was the eldest of three sons born to Helen Nkama and Prosper Kaba. Chris had had previous run-ins with the law. In 2018 he was charged with possession of a firearm with intent to cause fear of violence. He was sentenced to four years in a young offenders institute but was released early on licence. In 2020 he was pulled over while driving "on suspicion of failing to stop a Vauxhall Astra on the order of a police constable in uniform". The arresting officer told the court he “had cause to believe it was being used in a manner likely to cause alarm, distress and/or annoyance to members of the public”. While searching the vehicle a lock knife was found and Chris "pleaded guilty to having a bladed article in a public place and driving without insurance. The failing to stop charge was withdrawn." He received an extra five months in custody plus points on his licence and made to pay a victim surcharge (all quotes from the Evening Standard).

In April 2022 Chris was served a 28-day domestic violence protection order relating to a woman who was pregnant with his child. The notice "barred him from contacting her on social media or entering her street in Battersea."

As a cousin, Jefferson Bosela, said to the BBC, "he wasn't perfect".

He was also a drill artist and part of MOBO-winning group ‘67' and had started an architecture apprenticeship.

September 5 2022
According to the statement read at the opening of the inquest into his death, the car that Chris was driving was believed to be linked to a firearms incident that took place the previous day and was being tracked by automatic number plate recognition.

During the officer briefing prior to their shift that day the car was mentioned. Chris' name wasn't included in the briefing.

At around 9.52pm on Monday 5 September the car was spotted by officers and they began to follow it in an unmarked armed response vehicle. They intentionally didn't activate their lights or sirens. Around 10.07pm (so, after 15 minutes of following him without headlights in the dark) Chris turned into a street where a marked police armed response vehicle was waiting. Inside the vehicle was officer 'NX121'.

The statement says "The marked ARV had parked on Kirkstall Gardens with the intention of joining the other police vehicles behind the Audi once it had passed the junction" which makes it sound like multiple vehicles are following Chris, not just the one that spotted him. If that's the case it's unclear to me if these were also following without lights. If they were then I can only imagine the mounting anxiety that he was feeling.

Officers decided to perform an 'inline extraction' (the statement doesn't clearly explain what this is).

"Armed officers exited their vehicles and approached the Audi. The evidence suggests that contact was made between the Audi driven by Mr Kaba and the police vehicles." I think this means that Chris hit their vehicles while trying to escape. Given his previous interactions with the police I don't think it's a stretch to assume he panicked. Indeed, a spokesperson for stop-and-search campaign group StopWatch, told the Evening Standard
“In our conversations with individuals subjected to a stop-and-search, we often find that the inherently aggressive tactics of the officers involved crowd out any notion of so-called ‘rational behaviour’. The nature of street policing induces panic.

Many people we’ve spoken with feel as though the police engineer encounters in order to catch them out.”
Officer NX121 was able to stand in front of Chris' car and shoot at him. He was shot once, in the head. First aid was provided and he was taken to hospital where he was declared dead at 12.16am - just over 2 hours after he was cornered.

Aftermath
The Met quickly put out a statement that the officers had been in 'pursuit' of the vehicle before he was shot. Only at the inquest did they revise this statement to reflect the fact they had done everything they could to hide their presence.

Their excuse for their inaccurate statement was that it "was based on information available in the very early stages of the incident." In other words they rushed out a statement to put themselves in the best possible light without checking that it was correct, and then did nothing to correct the record until a month later when the court required them to tell the truth.

An article in the Evening Standard a couple of days later gives eye witness reports, including one that said that Chris was boxed in by three police cars and there was a police helicopter overhead. Police shouted at him to get out of the car 'at least a dozen times' and then he started driving at a police car to try and 'ram his way out'.
Another resident, 35, said: “I saw cars drive fast into our road. There was a helicopter overhead. Then I heard a bang, there were armed cops everywhere.
What I'm finding hard to square is the idea that there's this police car behind Chris trying to follow him without him noticing, being all stealthy, but there's also police helicopter, one of the least stealthy of vehicles. If it's all stealth then they have caught him by surprise and he doesn't know what the f.ck is going on. If there's a bl..dy great police helicopter after him then he's freaking the f.ck out. Either way, when he's cornered is it any surprise that he doesn't get out of the car?

I should note at this point that the car wasn't his, and no weapons were found in it or on him.

Kaba's cousin, the one who said he wasn't perfect, added,
regardless of that nobody deserves to be killed by the police unless there is an imminent or direct threat to the public.
Many friends and relatives of Chris believe that racism played a direct role in his shooting.

Officer NX121
In the police statement given at the inquest in October last year it was reported that,
The officer who discharged their firearm – NX121 – has been notified they are under criminal investigation for the offence of the murder of Mr Kaba.
Four days ago NX121 was charged with the murder of Chris. The officer has not been named.

The Met Police Federation made a veiled threat in their statement,
...being a firearms officer in London was "one of the world's toughest jobs", and that decision would "leave serving Metropolitan Police colleagues concerned as they go about their incredibly difficult and dangerous work".
The Network for Police Monitoring (Netpol) rhetorically asked how long it will take until they threaten mass resignation over this. The answer was 3 days.
More than 70 police marksmen said they want time to consider whether or not they wish to still carry a gun given their colleague is facing a murder charge.

Others are declining to go out on regular armed patrol and have remained at their stations while others said they will respond only in emergency situations.
The Specialist Firearms Command (MO19) is discussed in depth in the Casey review. To save you clicking the link, the TL:DR is that it has a "deeply troubling, toxic culture". People join for the "prestige of the role" and because they are specialists, they are harder to replace so are allowed to "bend or break the rules" or "colour outside the lines" because if they get any sort of push-back they can - and clearly do - threaten to leave. The culture is one of sexism, racism, and misogyny. The problems are open secrets "but there was a sense that it... could not be challenged" and even if it was attempts would fail because of the strength of that culture. To egotistically quote myself,
These units feel where the 'bad apples' congregate and spread their rot. They attract people more interested in money and power than helping people and gives them an elevated status that means that most look the other way when they 'bend the rules' for their own benefit. Many of the problems with the BCUs seem to stem from underfunding that means that people are overworked and under-supported, and they are seen as interchangeable so that it doesn't matter if people are constantly replaced on complex cases. MO19 sits in stark contrast - overfunded and full of people so convinced they're irreplaceable (and seen that way by those in command) that they are allowed to act with impunity.
That impunity led to the death of Chris Kaba and now there is the merest inkling of consequences they're acting like spoilt children throwing tantrums.

Some final (for now) thoughts
Chris Kaba's past doesn't matter. The officers knew nothing about him when they began following him, or when they cornered him, or when they shot him. All they knew was a black guy was driving a car that had been 'linked' to a firearms 'incident'. I've not seen any expansion of that - how was it linked, what was the incident, who the car actually belonged to, how Chris was linked to them - and I don't know how much the officers knew. It seems that all they knew was that someone was driving a car that had been flagged and rather than try to pull him over and have a conversation, they began tailing him and setting up a deadly trap.

It isn't clear to me whether Chris was aware of that trap. He turned from New Park Road into Kirkstall Gardens, where he was killed. If the police weren't somehow forcing him down that road I don't know why they'd expect him to go that way. It's just a residential street.
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Some articles say he was boxed in by two vehicles, others that he was followed by two vehicles, and there was a third waiting for him in Kirkstall Gardens. Others say there was a police helicopter. The facts are very hard to discern but either way, by the time Chris was in Kirkstall Gardens he was well aware he was in a whole heap of sh.t and likely had no f.cking clue why. It's really not a surprise he panicked and is something you'd think a highly trained and elite unit would be prepared for and capable of managing without resorting to deadly force. But they weren't. Some reports said that Chris drove into the vehicle as he entered the street (who'd expect a car to just be sat blocking the road after all) while others say he began ramming them as he tried to escape. Either way, officer NX121 felt it sufficiently safe to stand directly in front of the car and shoot Chris in the head.

Chris Kaba didn't need to die. The only reason he began to pose a risk to officers was because they forced him into that situation.

Maybe he was linked to the 'incident' as well, maybe he wasn't. We don't know and the officers that night certainly didn't. Rather than follow him subtly to find out where he was going, to gather more information, they decided to act like they were in some hollywood movie and ended up killing a young man in the middle of a suburban street on a Monday evening last autumn.

ETA
The SAS is now being brought in to provide support following the 'protests'.
The scale and speed of the protest by Met armed officers prompted the home secretary to order an emergency review of armed policing, with several sources telling the Guardian there were fears the rebellion could spread further within the Met and around the country.
This 'rebellion' is a result of police officers being made to be accountable for their actions. If you need more evidence of how broken our policing system is, look no further.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Gfamily » Sun Sep 24, 2023 10:08 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Sun Sep 24, 2023 9:48 pm
This 'rebellion' is a result of police officers being made to be accountable for their actions. If you need more evidence of how broken our policing system is, look no further.
Thank you Fishnut.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by discovolante » Sun Sep 24, 2023 10:37 pm

Thanks Fishnut. I read the story today and wanted to post somewhere about it but didn't know where to start or what to make of it, really.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by Fishnut » Mon Sep 25, 2023 1:23 pm

The Governments Response
Rishi Sunak has weighed in,
“Our firearms officers do an incredibly difficult job. They are making life or death decisions in a split second to keep us safe and they deserve our gratitude for their bravery.

“Now it is important when they are using these legal powers that they do so with clarity and they have certainty about what they are doing, especially given the lethality they are using.”
Meanwhile Suella Braverman tweeted,
We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous & violent in society. In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.

They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing & I will do everything in my power to support them.

That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all.
In other words, the government is defending not just the killing of Chris Kaba, but the police 'protests' at having their actions scrutinised.

The very people who are tasked with upholding the law see themselves as above it. The Casey review showed in detail how the entire Metropolitan police, but especially the specialist units, see themselves as unbeholden to anyone and this is yet another example of this attitude. What is quite stunning is that the government is not only tolerating this but encouraging it. Given how vitriolic the government has been against people withholding their labour in order to get better pay and conditions, it is really staggering to see them support these people throwing a strop over being held accountable for their actions.

In neither statement is there a recognition of the importance of oversight and ensuring that they only use their 'legal powers' when it is proportionate to do so. Officer NX121 has been charged with murder. Murder is, by definition killing someone "unlawfully". Until we have the trial we won't know if officer NX121 acted lawfully or not, but it is important that we are allowed to ask that question. NX121 isn't just a civilian like you or me, they are a person with a job where they get to carry around a deadly weapon and are authorised to use it with deadly force. It is more important, not less, that they are held to the highest standards and are punished if they do not meet them. If NX121 has committed murder, if we allow them to continue in their role then not only are we allowing them to get away with a serious crime, we are emboldening their colleagues to repeat their behaviour, safe in the knowledge that they too can kill with impunity.

Many of the statements in support of the 'protest' highlight the fact that these officers are 'volunteers' - they don't get paid extra to be in the unit. They make it sound like they are doing this because of high-minded principles, about wanting to do dangerous jobs to protect the public. The Casey review makes it quite clear that people want to do this job because they get to play with guns and lord it over the other officers. It's a position of high status that makes the officers untouchable, even by higher-ups. The Casey review said that officers are allowed to "bend or break the rules" or "colour outside the lines" and the killing of Chris Kaba and the subsequent protests at these actions being scrutinised illustrate this beautifully.

Peelian Principles
I think it's worth looking again at the Peelian principles that underpin British policing. There are nine principles, all of which have been regularly ignored by police around the country, but the principles most relevant to Chris Kaba's death are principle 6 and principle 8:
6. To use physical force only when the exercise of persuasion, advice and warning is found to be insufficient to obtain public co-operation to an extent necessary to secure observance of law or to restore order, and to use only the minimum degree of physical force which is necessary on any particular occasion for achieving a police objective.

8. To recognise always the need for strict adherence to police-executive functions, and to refrain from even seeming to usurp the powers of the judiciary of avenging individuals or the State, and of authoritatively judging guilt and punishing the guilty.
They needlessly escalated a situation until it was deadly. Information may yet come out but nothing made public so far makes it clear why it was operationally necessary to corner Chris rather than follow him and question him once he'd reached his destination and got out of the car. There's also nothing public that explains why the Specialist Firearms Command were required for this. Does every 'link' to a firearms incident require an armed response? Maybe I'm being naive but that feels unnecessary. It feels like a waste of their time and risks elevating every interaction simply because they are armed. Again, this may be my naivety but I can't help but wonder if they're used for normal policing roles because there isn't enough work to require a full-time armed response unit. If this is the case then you've got a load of bored, amped up men (the Casey report detailed how women were routinely excluded from joining the unit) who want to reenact End of Watch every shift but instead find themselves in the first half of Hot Fuzz.

While the descriptions of the events surrounding his shooting are still murky the fact that the officer who killed him did so from directly in front of the vehicle seems very suspicious to me. The way I think the police are wanting us to imagine things is like an action movie where the hero cop dashes out from cover while the suspect is reversing, takes aim and fires in a couple of milliseconds and then dives back to cover (in slow motion, with a cool soundtrack playing) before Chris is able to ram the driver with his car. If that is the case that seems incredibly reckless behaviour. You are needlessly putting yourself at risk and if you miss your target due to your lack of time to properly aim you risk shooting colleagues instead. And even if you do succeed you now have an out of control vehicle occupied by a wounded and possibly unconscious/deceased occupant.

The way I'm increasingly envisioning things is that Chris is cornered, panics, tries to escape by driving through the police cars but realises he can't and freezes. He's told to get out of the vehicle but can't, he's terrified, he's got no idea what's going on. He knows how badly previous interactions with police went and those didn't have armed officers and a f.cking helicopter overhead. Officer NX121 steadily approaches the car, weapon raised, commanding him to get out. Chris is paralysed with fear and is physically unable to do anything and the officer takes aim, looks him straight in the eye and calmly pulls the trigger.

I really hope I'm wrong. I hope there was more chaos and confusion on the part of the officers. It wouldn't make things better but it would make it less calculated. I don't know what's worse - poorly trained officers who's first reaction is shoot first, ask questions later or well-trained officers who just decide to summarily execute someone for not obeying them. Either way I think their actions that night and subsequently have shown that they are not fit to carry guns.
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Re: Casey Report finds the Met to be institutionally racist, misogynistic and homophobic

Post by JQH » Mon Sep 25, 2023 2:35 pm

Fishnut wrote:
Mon Sep 25, 2023 1:23 pm
The Governments Response
Rishi Sunak has weighed in,
“Our firearms officers do an incredibly difficult job. They are making life or death decisions in a split second to keep us safe and they deserve our gratitude for their bravery.

“Now it is important when they are using these legal powers that they do so with clarity and they have certainty about what they are doing, especially given the lethality they are using.”
Meanwhile Suella Braverman tweeted,
We depend on our brave firearms officers to protect us from the most dangerous & violent in society. In the interest of public safety they have to make split-second decisions under extraordinary pressures.

They mustn’t fear ending up in the dock for carrying out their duties. Officers risking their lives to keep us safe have my full backing & I will do everything in my power to support them.

That’s why I have launched a review to ensure they have the confidence to do their jobs while protecting us all.
In other words, the government is defending not just the killing of Chris Kaba, but the police 'protests' at having their actions scrutinised.
...
If a newspaper carried such biased commentry on a current court case the editor would get done for contempt of court.

Why are government ministers allowed to get away with it?
And remember that if you botch the exit, the carnival of reaction may be coming to a town near you.

Fintan O'Toole

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