Benjamin Zephaniah on how Colin Roach’s death sparked a movement 35 years ago

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Colin Roach

Colin Roach

source: Hackney Gazette
published: 23 January 2018

The death of Rashan Charles, and its aftermath, has tragic echoes of the case of Colin Roach. The 21-year-old was shot inside Stoke Newington police station 35 years ago, with the community convinced cops had a hand. Poet Benjamin Zephaniah was at the first protest after his death, he tells the Gazette.

Events surrounding the death of Colin Roach 35 years ago remain a mystery to this day.

He died inside the foyer of Stoke Newington police station on January 12, 1983, from a single gunshot wound through the mouth.

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Landmark review on deaths in police custody, an opportunity to save lives

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Police Officers On Dutysource: INQUEST
published: 30 October 2017

The Independent review of deaths and serious incidents in police custody by Dame Elish Angiolini has been published by the Home Office today. It is the first and only review of policing practises and related processes following police related deaths.

The report offers the government a blueprint for change to urgently implement in the face of numerous recent concerning deaths.

It makes over 100 evidence based recommendations, which are intended to be a pragmatic way forward. These include important recommendations on: Continue reading

Families of men with mental health issues who died in police custody welcome new report

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Thomas Orchard

Thomas Orchard

source: ITV News
published: 30 October 2017

The families of two men with mental health issues who died in police custody has welcomed a report into how vulnerable people should be treated by emergency services. 32-year-old Thomas Orchard died in police custody in Exeter in 2012 and 25-year-old James Herbert died at Yeovil Police Station seven years ago.

The report into deaths in custody was ordered by Theresa May when she was the Home Secretary. It has stressed mentally ill people should never be held in cells.

Thomas Orchard suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and his family say being held in Exeter’s Heavitree Road Police Station made his condition worse. Before reaching the station Mr Orchard was handcuffed and bundled into a van. Moments before falling unconscious, a restraint was wrapped around his head. Continue reading