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Nels Abbey
Police complaints body is a real joke

QUESTIONS: Smiley Culture and Mark Duggan

FIRST COMES the police atrocity. Then comes the ‘Independent’ Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) inquiry. Then comes the second atrocity – the results of the IPCC inquiry. I lay my colours out: I, like the police, demonstrably do consider the IPCC to be an utter joke. It would be lovely to say that the IPCC adds insult to injury. The sad truth is that they add further injury to injury.


If we had a truly independent, respectable, credible and authoritative ‘regulator’ (or complaints handler) of the police the shame that was last year’s riots probably would never have occurred.

That is not to say that Mark Duggan would not have been killed. Not by any means. It is to say that the catalogue of cock-ups, atrocities and obvious white washes that culminated with the IPCC’s collusion in the subsequent slandering of Duggan and appalling treatment of his family would never have happened.

Whenever the Duggan case is discussed in the media it is rarely mentioned that an IPCC spokesperson informed the press that Mark Duggan shot at the police first.


Remember the bullet lodged into the radio story? This helped bolster the spin of Mark Duggan as a ‘known gangsta and drug dealer’, an image that many people use to justify and downplay the tragic death of Duggan, a father of four, till this very day.

The case of David Emmanuel (popularly known by his stage name Smiley Culture) is another prime example. Does anyone really believe that professional police officers allowed a man in the process of having his home searched for drugs to go and make himself a cup of tea? And then when he is in the kitchen he stabs himself (in the chest) so hard that the knife penetrated right through his body and emerged from his back? And in response to this horrific allegedly self-inflicted wound the police decide the best course of action was to handcuff a rapidly dying man. This is the definition of unbelievable.

Marcia Rigg, the sister of Sean Rigg – a musician who died under very suspicious circumstances in police custody – accused the IPCC of doing more to obstruct their quest for justice than to facilitate it.

Sean Price, Ian Tomlinson, Kingsley Burrell... I could go on and on about how useless and counterproductive the IPCC is.

It is abundantly clear that the IPCC needs to be scrapped. We need a body that inspires confidence in both the police and complainants against the police; one that is regarded as credible and serious. Given its track record, the IPCC will never be that body. And for this reason, I like the police, spit on the IPCC.

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