Appalling police brutality in the UK, but was it racism – or disablism?

Police brutality: the man under the two police officers had a blue ‘disabled’ badge for his car. He was parked legally on a single yellow line when these two officers demanded he move the car. He refused so they beat him senseless, breaking a finger in the process.

This is not an incident from the demonstrations against police violence against black and minority ethnic people over the last week or so.

It happened last year – in London.

James McAsh explains it perfectly well in his Twitter thread so I’ll hand over to him:

Youness Bentahar, I’m guessing, is not ethnically “White British”. He also had a blue badge for disabled drivers (or those who drive for disabled people). As such, he was entitled to park where he was and the police had no right or reason to ask him to move his vehicle.

But they still beat him senseless, breaking a finger at one point and using handcuffs as knuckledusters to punch him (in the kidneys?) at another.

Should Mr Bentahar have meekly allowed police to arrest him? Mr McAsh argues that it would mean black people who have committed no crimes should allow the police to harass them or commit violence.

But as a disabled man – or somebody driving for a disabled person – he would also have had a responsibility, either to the disabled person for whom he was driving – to carry out the job he’d been asked to do, or to himself – to avoid being taken to a police station where the extra needs of his disability may be ignored (and let’s face it, that’s what the video evidence here suggests).

Who told these police officers they could behave in this manner towards a person from an ethnic minority?

Who said it was all right for them to victimise a person who was disabled – or was acting for a disabled person?

As this happened in London, we may conclude that these were Metropolitan Police officers.

Their commissioner would be Cressida Dick. Perhaps she would like to answer these questions?

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4 thoughts on “Appalling police brutality in the UK, but was it racism – or disablism?

  1. Ann_Other

    I am severely disabled and this is one of the reasons I don’t go to London unless I have to. When I started driving to London decades ago, there were two boroughs that. operate a ‘separate but equal’ two tier disabled badge system. There are now FOUR. This is part of the growing gentrification and othering that pushes me out. There are differing rules in each district designed to be byzantine. This puts people off due to the ball ache of looking into parking every time you want to go somewhere new – or god forbid that the police are unclear on the regulations.

    Surely, IF there was an error, there should have been a fixed penalty notice issued. I see no reason to drag someone out of a car with brutality for what is not an arrestable offence. There are videos of people being dragged from wheelchairs by officers. The biggest crime in the UK is disrespecting a police officer. This action is the result of training to eliminate risk (to the officer) at any cost, town planning to push out the less powerful and successive governments of any colour that blatantly don’t give a s**t.

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