Nurse arrested for being black is just part of the week in UK racism

Neomi Bennett (picture taken from police bodycam): she’s taking the Met to court after being arrested for sitting in a car while being black. What other reason was there?

A woman who was awarded the British Empire Medal for her contribution to nursing was arrested by Metropolitan Police because she was black, she has claimed.

Naomi Bennett, 47, was found sitting in a car late at night, so officers demanded that she get out and be searched. Frightened, she refused to comply – demanding the presence of a female officer.

The dialogue became “heated”, then male officers pulled her out, arrested her and kept her in a cell for 18 hours, despite finding nothing incriminating.

Now Ms Bennett, who has been working intensive care shifts as a locum nurse treating Covid-19 patients, has overturned a conviction for obstructing the police that night.

She has announced that she want to bring a civil claim against the Metropolitan Police for wrongful arrest, assault, battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

And who can blame her?

If this had been the only incident in which UK authorities could be accused of racial harassment, it would be bad enough – but it isn’t:

June 12:

Black bank manager to sue Metropolitan Police for racial discrimination after 26-month nightmare

Dale Semper, a black bank manager… says he was wrongfully targeted by [Metropolitan Police] officers, and faced accusations of money laundering, terrorism and trafficking in an investigation which lasted more than two years before being dropped with no apology.

Black Lives Matter unveils billboard of victims near Parliament

“Thousands of victims of state and racist violence were unveiled on a billboard near Parliament by Black Lives Matter campaigners today.

“The 3,000 victims include those who have died in police custody, prisons, immigration detention centres and from racist attacks.

“They also include the names of those who have died from Covid-19, including transport worker Belly Mujinga, to demonstrate the extent of structural racism in Britain.

“Other names include Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg, Shukri Abdi, Joy Gardner, Sarah Reed, Rubel Ahmed, Yvonne Ruddock, Luke Alexander Loy, Kayla Williams, Jimmy Mubenga and Stephen Lawrence.”

June 13:

June 14:

These riots are the result of years of the government whipping racist Britain into a frenzy

“The outrage against the police killing of George Floyd has rippled through the world and triggered a global conversation about state brutality.

“And this weekend’s events, in which far-right rioters clashed in violent scenes with the police over the “protection” of British monuments, have complicated matters further.

“With no sign of tensions easing, questions will continue to be raised about perceived differences in treatment between anti-racist demonstrators and their ideological opponents, as British anxieties about the police sky-rocket.

“The backdrop of a global pandemic has made this conversation even more potent – in enacting the Coronavirus Act 2020, the British police have essentially become the “right arm” of the Conservative government.

“Since the beginning of lockdown in March, reports of wrongful convictions and news that Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people, particularly black people have been targeted for breaches of lockdown rules, have cast fresh doubts on this being a short-lived issue.

“This comes at a time when black communities are openly voicing their trauma of experiencing abuses of power. The question remains: How far will the police go to police people?

“The British government’s hold over the police has quite obviously surged during this time, though it is unclear whether they will loosen their grip as Britain eases its way out of lockdown.

“A number of reports documenting the intrusiveness of police throughout lockdown, corroborates the uneasiness surrounding increased police power. From a Black man being tasered in front of his 5-year-old son, to a disabled woman being intimidated by police when out for her daily exercise and reports of drone cameras being used to enforce lockdown, the line between policing and surveillance has been blurred.

“The Crown Prosecution Service has found that dozens of convictions have been wrong, which begs the question: are these miscarriages of justice part and parcel of a broken system?

“Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities have every reason to be anxious about the increased role of the police and its consequences. The report that BAME people are 54 per cent more likely to be fined than white people, is a real cause for concern. Last year, the government’s expansion of stop and search powers provoked discussion about its purpose. With black people in England and Wales already 40 times more likely to be stopped and searched than their white counterparts, the police are at risk of intensifying the fears of BAME communities. Class is also proving to be a marker for being targeted. Reports of a postcode lottery of lockdown fines and worse yet sightings of a more visible police presence in lower socio-economic public spaces have added to suspicions of excessive police power.

“With the backlash against Dominic Cummings’ breach of lockdown still lingering in the minds of many Britons, the government’s over-reliance on police force may well be responsible for Britain’s complete loss of trust in it.”

Boris Johnson criticised over ‘victimisation’ comment as he sets up racism inquiry

“Boris Johnson has responded to the global wave of Black Lives Matter protests by announcing a government commission to look into racial inequalities. But he immediately prompted criticism by saying he wanted to end “the sense of victimisation”.

“Johnson went on to say he wanted to “stop the sense of victimisation and discrimination”, the former word somewhat echoing a controversial article about Liverpool written when he edited the Spectator magazine, which accused the city of wallowing in a sense of victimhood.”

We’re looking at the difference between what he said and what he wants us to think he said. Johnson wants to end the “sense” of victimisation. He doesn’t want to stop victimisation itself – or discrimination.

We may expect his commission to end up redefining victimisation and discrimination in ways that are intended to make it hard for BAME people to claim that it is happening to them.

“Marsha de Cordova, the shadow women and equalities secretary, said the phrase was “condescending”.”

As criticisms go: mild.

Man charged over urinating on PC Keith Palmer memorial during protest in London

“A 28-year-old, of Stansted, Essex, has been charged with outraging public decency and will appear in custody at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Monday, the Metropolitan Police said.

“He was arrested after presenting himself at a police station in Essex on Sunday.

“The image of a man urinating was widely shared on social media on Saturday as violent clashes between far-right protesters and police took place in central London.”

June 15:

Police call for protests ban during pandemic after weekend of violent rallies

“Rank-and-file police officers have urged Priti Patel to impose an emergency ban on all protests during the coronavirus pandemic, warning officers were being put at risk by wave of a mass demonstrations.

“The Police Federation of England and Wales called on the home secretary to take action after dozens of officers were injured in violent clashes over the weekend.

“Chair John Apter said officers and the public were in danger of Covid-19 spreading between crowds.”

It’s the perfect excuse to shut down protests against racism, isn’t it? That they cause a risk of contagion.

Yes – it is a valid argument. But look at the story immediately above, in which Metropolitan Police officers arrested a woman for siting in a car and being black. In that context, it’s more than a little self-serving, don’t you think?

Racists think England is theirs. It’s time to show them it is not

“In the weekend’s spectacle of those far-right thugs piling into London and chanting “In-ger-land”, there lies an imperative: to fight the populists and racists on their most treasured ground, and contest their archaic, hateful view of the country they think they speak for.”

June 17:

Black vicar denied job at UK church because congregation are ‘white working class’

“A black trainee vicar received a rejection letter for a job in a Church of England (CoE) parish, with church bosses stating he would not be a “match” for the post as the congregation is “monochrome white working class”.

“Augustine Tanner-Ihm, who is studying at Durham University, received the email in response to his application for a role as a curate at a church in southern England. It said despite his “obvious gifts”, it was not “worth pursuing a conversation” about his potential in the role.

“Mr Tanner-Ihm received the email in February, but after CoE archbishops Justin Welby and John Sentamu released a statement condemning systemic racism and “the ongoing evil of white supremacy” in the US, he decided to publish it on Twitter.

He wrote: “Bishops make statements of #BlackLivesMatter this week, I’m still struck by this (letter) I received and many more from Diocesan Staff this year. Also, the 8 different dioceses that rejected me for a curacy.

“I guess not all black lives matter.”

The Church of England has said it is investigating the circumstances behind the letter. I wonder whether it is also investigating the other dioceses that rejected Mr Tanner-Ihm.

This Writer has a feeling that Christians would have accepted him anywhere. That’s what that particular faith is about, isn’t it?

Pub chain and insurance hub ‘sorry’ for slave links

“Pub chain Greene King and insurance market Lloyd’s of London have apologised for their historical links to the slave trade.

“One of Greene King’s founders owned a number of plantations in the Caribbean.

“Meanwhile, maritime insurance – which was focused on Lloyd’s – thrived on the trans-Atlantic slave trade.

“Both organisations have apologised and Lloyd’s has said it will donate to charities representing black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) groups.”

Source: Nurse claims Met police wrongfully arrested her because she is black | World news | The Guardian

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2 thoughts on “Nurse arrested for being black is just part of the week in UK racism

  1. gary richards

    Hold on a second here this is not being racist.

    that body cam is dated for 4 April 2019 not 2020 covid reference

    the police officer was on about her tinted windows on the car which is an offence in the first place

    He asked her to wind her window down and she quoted no its not inaudible as it quotes it can be heard

    shes been obstructive by refusing she also uses a sexual quote of body search by a man x2

    a racist comment then full racist comment

    whos crying wolf here

    1. Mike Sivier Post author

      Her windows were found to be within the legal limit as far as being tinted is concerned, so that was not a good reason for stopping her and asking her to get out of the car and be searched.

      This award-winning nurse was quite clearly in great fear of these police officers – as any black person has a right to be, in line with a wealth of evidence. She was right that they had no reason to stop her, and it was later proven that the claim that she might have stolen items in the car was also found to be untrue.

      If you read the source article, all the information is there. I think she has a very good case.

Comments are closed.