Brixton police station was invaded by the family of Sean Rigg and their supporters on Saturday demanding answers about the circumstances that lead to his death in police custody in 2008.
Family solicitor Anna Mazzola said: "It is now two years since Sean died and his family are no closer to getting answers to fundamental questions such as: why didn't the police and NHS Trust respond to pleas for help from Sean's mental health hostel? What happened to Sean in those crucial minutes between him being arrested and arriving in a collapsed state at Brixton police station? Why haven't they been able to access key CCTV footage from the night? It is devastating for the family that they should have to wait until 2012 for a full inquest and deeply worrying that until that time the policies and failings which led to Sean's death will remain unremedied."
Deborah Coles of Inquest said: "Sean's family's disquiet about the lack of impartiality and independence of the investigation process and the serious delay in holding an inquest have once again resulted in a lack of confidence in the investigation mechanisms following deaths involving the police. The recent decision not to prosecute anyone in relation to the death of Ian Tomlinson follows a litany of cases where the police have not been held to account for unlawful use of force and further anger and mistrust about how the state responds to such deaths.
"Sean Rigg was another black man who has died after being restrained by police officers. INQUEST's monitoring of deaths in custody/following police contact has highlighted how a disproportionate number of people from black and minority ethnic communities have died following the use of force. INQUEST will continue to work with his family and raise the serious issues his death raises at a parliamentary and policy level. There must be non means tested public funding for the family to be represented at the inquest in the same way that police lawyers will be paid for out of the public purse and the inquest must be held as promptly as possible given the serious family and public interest in scrutinising the events leading to the tragic death of a vulnerable man."
Patrick Ward of United Campaign Against Police Violence, said: "The treatment of the family of Sean Rigg smacks of a justice system chasing its tail to cover up a scandal. Now the family are told to wait for the inquest in 2012, when no doubt the judicial system will seek other ways of proving its 'innocence'. We must unite at events like this to coordinate our continued campaign for justice for all those who have died at the hands of those who claim to protect us."
Paul Hanes is a member of Counterfire who started Fourman Films in 2003 after his first feature documentary that year. He is an award winning film maker, active trade unionist and a prolific video blogger and citizen journalist. He has over 1,000 YouTube videos which form an historic and in depth record of the movement, often overlooked by the mainstream media.
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