28 October 2022
TOMORROW (Saturday 29th October 2022), the United Families and Friends Campaign’s (UFFC) 24th Annual Remembrance Procession will take place, with the march gathering at midday at Trafalgar Square before walking to Downing Street.
The families involved have been bereaved by deaths in police and prison custody, and mental health settings.
Five families from UFFC will deliver a letter to the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, copying in the Home Secretary Suella Braverman and Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, requesting an urgent meeting with all three.
The families wish to discuss their demands on changes required to enable justice for bereaved families and action on recurring issues arising from state related deaths. They also want to hear from the Government and Mayor about their commitments to this.
The families will be joined by actress Adjoa Andoh, who will march alongside them and support in reading the names of those who have died.
The families delivering the letter are:
- The mother of Chris Kaba, Helen Nkama. Chris, a 24 year old Black man, was fatally shot by a firearms officer from the Metropolitan Police on 5 September 2022 in Streatham, London. His death is subject to an ongoing homicide investigation.
- The father of Oladeji Omishore, Alfred Omishore. Oladeji, known as Deji, died on 4 June 2022. The 41 year old Black man fell into the River Thames following use of Taser by two Metropolitan Police Officers on Chelsea Bridge, London. He was experiencing a mental health crisis. His family are taking legal action against the police watchdog for failing to hold a criminal investigation.
- The mother of Jack Susianta, Anna Susianta. Jack, a 17 year old A-Level student who was mixed race, drowned in the River Lea, London on Wednesday 29 July 2015, after jumping into the water whilst experiencing a mental health crisis and being chased by police officers.
- The mother of Matthew Leahy, Melanie Leahy. Matthew was a 20 year old White man who died on 15 November 2012, whilst under the care of Essex mental health services. Continued failures in Essex mental healthcare were exposed in a recent Channel 4 – Dispatches documentary , ‘Are our wards safe – undercover’. and the mental health NHS Trusts in Essex are subject to an ongoing inquiry. Essex families have United to have this upgraded to Statutory status.
- The sister of Leon Patterson, Stephanie Lightfoot Bennet. Leon, a 31 year old mixed race man, died in a police cell in a Stockport police cell on 27th November 1992. An inquest in 1993 found he was unlawfully killed, but this was challenged by police and a later inquest found his death was “misadventure contributed to by neglect” by police.
These families alongside many others will make speeches across from Downing Street, outlining their experiences and campaigns.
INQUEST, who work closely with many of the families involved, stands with them on this march every year. We join them in demanding justice and change.
Marcia Rigg, sister of Sean Rigg and organiser at UFFC, said on behalf of the campaign: “Families tirelessly campaign, when they ought to be grieving, for the truth of what happened to their loved one. We have no choice but to publicly challenge the judicial system, sadly at a very high cost to our mental health and well-being, because we do not want any other family to experience the same trauma and years of delays that we have.
The right to life, equality and proper justice have been continuously ignored or dismissed. This only serves to cause more heartache, distrust and lack of confidence in the systems causing and responding to deaths within our communities and the public.
We are taking this opportunity to inform the newly appointed Prime Minster of our objectives and demands for truth, justice, accountability and change, for an end to state killings, and the systematic patterns and failures which prevent justice and enable continued deaths.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
For further information, interview requests and to note your interest, please contact Lucy McKay on 07875295225 or email@example.com copying in firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the campaign and their demands go to uffcampaign.org
This press release was written in collaboration with UFFC.
Credit : Inquest Group