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Brothers accuse police of brutality and 'black scum' jibe

COMPLAINT: Ashanti Williams, left, and brother Husani

TWO BROTHERS who claimed they were pulled over and brutally attacked by armed police are now threatening legal action and have lodged complaints with the body that probes such cases.

Kojo Kyerewaa, spokesman from campaign group The London Campaign Against Police & State Violence (LCAPSV), which has been supporting the brothers, revealed plans to bring a civil case against the police.

Kyerewaa said: “This was an outrageous set of events from the brutal and unnecessary aggression during the police operation and the dubious intelligence which led to it, to the shambolic handling of the court case. This raises serious questions about the professionalism and integrity of these institutions of law enforcement.”

Asante and Husani Williams said officers, who they believe belonged to an anti-terrorism group, had ‘hard stopped’ the car they were travelling in around 6.30pm on June 1, 2013. The controversial tactic which led to the deaths of Mark Duggan and Azelle Rodney. involves plain-clothed officers intercepting suspected armed targets in cars.

The car, driven by Husani, which was also transporting two female passengers, was intercepted by unmarked vehicles that forced it to stop as it reached the Woolwich flyover in southeast London.

According to Asante, men with “big rifle-type guns” rushed at them “from all directions” and started smashing their car windows. 

“They didn’t ask our names or identify themselves as police.  They smashed my brother’s window and started hitting him in the face with the gun,” Asante told The Voice. “They tried to smash my window, but it didn’t smash. So they opened my door, dragged me out and began hitting me in the head with a gun. It was a very traumatic experience.”

He continued: “They went berserk.  I feared they were going to kill me. Blood was gushing out of my head.  I was on the pavement in a pool of blood and they were still hitting me and shouting abuse like ‘you black terrorist scum’.”

The 35-year-old claimed he was losing consciousness by the time “normal police” arrived and called an ambulance. He said police accompanied him to the hospital but left after six hours when they received a call to release him without charge.

Asante added: “I asked them for their IDs but they left without giving it to me and without an explanation.”

Husani was, however, charged with possession of Class A and Class B drugs. 

But after submitting a statement denying the charge the CPS took the decision earlier this month to drop that charge relating to Class A drugs.

The brothers believe officers had targeted the car because it was allegedly linked to an address associated with the murder of British soldier Lee Rigby, which had occurred the previous month.

Husani said: “The decision to drop the charge against me was a great relief. This entire criminal process has been a time of incredible stress and trauma on me and my family. I’m grateful for the support I’ve received so far and I’ll continue to demand answers and fight for justice.” 

The Met Police confirmed that Hatton rounds and taser were used during the operation, and that the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) had no evidence to offer in relation to the Class A drugs charge.

The Directorate of Professional Standards is now investigating the complaint, supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

As part of the enquiries, leaflets were handed out locally appealing for witnesses to come forward. At the time of going to press, no one had come forward.

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