POLICE ADVICE to women that they should run away if they fear the intentions of a police officer may put black people in mortal danger, campaigners have warned.
Public debate after the brutal murder of Sarah Everard and conviction of her killer, former police officer Metropolitan Wayne Couzens, shines a light on decades of tensions between police and the black community.
Equality campaigner Dianne Greyson told The Voice: “When you are black, running from the police could mean the end of your life.”
“It’s taken the death of a white woman to address, well, start to address, this issue, this very fundamental issue of trust in policing”
A former Nottinghamshire police chief has stated it has taken the death of a white woman to spark conversations about trusting the police.
Sue Fish, the ex-chief of Nottinghamshire Police, also told BBC Breakfast she would have got into the car with Metropolitan Police officer Wayne Couzens, who used his warrant card to kidnap, rape and murder Sarah Everard.
Ms Fish said the issue of trusting the police has been a concern in the black community for several years.
She said: “But also we think about communities of colour, the black community in particular, and this has been a significant issue.
“Trust (in police) in the black community has been poor to non-existent for many years, and yet it’s taken the death of a white woman to address, well, start to address, this issue, this very fundamental issue of trust in policing.”
Couzens, 48, was handed a whole life sentence at the Old Bailey on Thursday.
Since the sentencing, campaigners have called for more measures to be put in place to prevent police abusing their powers, but many in the Black community feel the suggestions being made will not change how they are treated.
Speaking to The Voice, James Lawrence, a strategist from Stoke Newington said: “The Met is rotten to the core and it cannot be reformed, we as the black community know this from Jean Charles de Menezes, Mark Duggan, Sean Rigg, Mickey Powell and so many others.
“It is only when the destitute situation is at their door that’s when they realise things are bad with the police.
“There is a categorical risk to our community when it comes to the police, look at Brixton, Toxteth and Hanworth, this problem with the police didn’t just start last week!”
Last week, the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told LBC that plain clothes police officers will conduct patrols in pairs from now on to help rebuild trust in police, following the murder of Sarah Everard.
But this doesn’t go far enough for Mr Lawrence.
He said: “This isn’t going to stop the police from using unreasonable force on our community, this isn’t going to stop unjust stop and searches of our youth and it won’t stop deaths in police custody.
“It wasn’t a lone officer who killed Mark Duggan, there was more than one, so having two police officers on patrol means nothing to us.
“It doesn’t put me at ease, actually it is even more terrifying!”
Michael Morgan is the creative director at WHOA TV, he told The Voice, that everything that is being suggested is to simply “quell the unease and quiet down the voice of the British public.”
He said: “As a Black man I do not have the white privilege to run away from a police officer or to hail down a bus, the amount of times I am at a bus stop and it has just driven past is unreal.”
Mr Morgan believes the solutions being presented are being looked at through a “white lens” and therefore will not work for the Black community.
He said: “We don’t have the white privilege to question the police or run away because it always ends badly for us, history has shown us this, so why is it going to change now?”
Mr Morgan says institutional racism, sexism, misogyny and corruption need to be tackled first before any recommendations are made, as they “won’t fix the underlying issues” and the suggestions made in the last few days will “simply paper over the cracks with rhetoric and talk.”
“We keep hearing it is just one bad apple, but it seems to me there is a barrel of rotten apples that come from an orchard of corrupt fruit,” he added.
Mr Morgan would like to see Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick admit there is a problem with institutional racism in the Met, which will impact how lower ranking officers view racism.
This content was originally published here.