glassalice
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A mother was petrified for her family's lives when armed police raided her London home late at night to arrest her son, 12, who was seen with a toy gun.

Mina Agyepong, 42, was asleep when officers with dogs broke in and aimed weapons at her and her children.

Her son Kai had roused suspicions of a passer-by who said they saw a "black male holding a firearm on the sofa", in Medburn Street, Camden.

The Met Police confirmed only a "toy bb gun" was found in the raid, on 17 July.

'Red dots on daughters' heads'
"At about 12:00 I woke up to a commotion outside, barking dogs and shouting," Ms Agyepong told the BBC.

"Kai had opened the door and was being arrested. About ten armed police officers were aiming their rifles at me and my girls and shouting for us to put our hands up.

"I saw there were red dots on my daughters' heads and I started to get really scared. I honestly believed if the officers got alarmed in anyway, they would shoot.

"We were ordered to get out of the house with our hands up and Kai was taken away. I was petrified for my kids lives."
The gun seen by the passer-by through the family's window was later confirmed to be a plastic pellet gun.

"A male in the property was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and taken into a police van outside the house," a Met Police spokesman said.

"A search was conducted and officers found an item which was identified as a toy 'bb' gun and not a firearm."

'Zero-to-a-hundred response'
However, an internal review did not "identify any misconduct issues" but a "mandatory referral" to the Independent Office for Police Complaints had been made, the force confirmed.

However, Ms Agyepong said she complained to the Met about its "zero-to-a-hundred" response.

Kai, a Year 7 pupil at Maria Fidelis Catholic School, was eventually "de-arrested" and allowed back into his home but his mother said the ordeal has left him shaken.

"He's too afraid to answer the door," she continued.

"But I'm more concerned of how it will affect him as he gets older. How will he see the police when he's a teenager?"

"If we live in a world where children can face being shot by police for having a toy gun, which are not illegal, then something is not right", she said.

"This is London, not America."

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The toy gun in question does look realistic, should this simply be a lesson to parents not to allow their children to have realistic looking guns?
Could/ should the police respond to alleged gun incidents differently?
Is the mother just playing the 'race' card?
Should the person who initially called the police be investigated for wasting police time/ rasicum?
Last edited by glassalice; 2 weeks ago
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caravaggio2
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Napp
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It would seem she is playing on it, this being a completely normal and proper thing for the police to do if there is suspected to be a firearm in play. I mean, what does she expect them to do ?
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Old Skool Freak
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(Original post by glassalice)
Spoiler:
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A mother was petrified for her family's lives when armed police raided her London home late at night to arrest her son, 12, who was seen with a toy gun.

Mina Agyepong, 42, was asleep when officers with dogs broke in and aimed weapons at her and her children.

Her son Kai had roused suspicions of a passer-by who said they saw a "black male holding a firearm on the sofa", in Medburn Street, Camden.

The Met Police confirmed only a "toy bb gun" was found in the raid, on 17 July.

'Red dots on daughters' heads'
"At about 12:00 I woke up to a commotion outside, barking dogs and shouting," Ms Agyepong told the BBC.

"Kai had opened the door and was being arrested. About ten armed police officers were aiming their rifles at me and my girls and shouting for us to put our hands up.

"I saw there were red dots on my daughters' heads and I started to get really scared. I honestly believed if the officers got alarmed in anyway, they would shoot.

"We were ordered to get out of the house with our hands up and Kai was taken away. I was petrified for my kids lives."
The gun seen by the passer-by through the family's window was later confirmed to be a plastic pellet gun.

"A male in the property was arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm and taken into a police van outside the house," a Met Police spokesman said.

"A search was conducted and officers found an item which was identified as a toy 'bb' gun and not a firearm."

'Zero-to-a-hundred response'
However, an internal review did not "identify any misconduct issues" but a "mandatory referral" to the Independent Office for Police Complaints had been made, the force confirmed.

However, Ms Agyepong said she complained to the Met about its "zero-to-a-hundred" response.

Kai, a Year 7 pupil at Maria Fidelis Catholic School, was eventually "de-arrested" and allowed back into his home but his mother said the ordeal has left him shaken.

"He's too afraid to answer the door," she continued.

"But I'm more concerned of how it will affect him as he gets older. How will he see the police when he's a teenager?"

"If we live in a world where children can face being shot by police for having a toy gun, which are not illegal, then something is not right", she said.

"This is London, not America."

Name:  _113616584_gun1.jpg
Views: 14
Size:  21.7 KB
The toy gun in question does look realistic, should this simply be a lesson to parents not to allow their children to have realistic looking guns?
Could/ should the police respond to alleged gun incidents differently?
Is the mother just playing the 'race' card?
Should the person who initially called the police be investigated for wasting police time/ rasicum?
I think you should have post a link to the actual news article, rather than what you choose to post, cause I know for a fact there are lots of bits you've missed out. With an independent link, people can make an impartial judgement on the matter.

http://camdennewjournal.com/article/...e-over-toy-gun

Fair enough, the police have a duty to respond to any considerable threat, but normally, I would thought they would have done some kind of surveillance first to establish the threat, before going in with (pardon the pun) "all guns blazing"

The mother is a professional, who previously had good relations with the police, not some lay-about... so I'm very interested to hear how the police could justify such a heavy handed response from one phone call (from a view obscured by blinds).
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Napp
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(Original post by Old Skool Freak)
I think you should have post a link to the actual news article, rather than what you choose to post, cause I know for a fact there are lots of bits you've missed out. With an independent link, people can make an impartial judgement on the matter.

http://camdennewjournal.com/article/...e-over-toy-gun
Which bits were missed out?

Fair enough, the police have a duty to respond to any considerable threat, but normally, I would thought they would have done some kind of surveillance first to establish the threat, before going in with (pardon the pun) "all guns blazing"
Wouldnt this rather depend on the situation? Many officers taking the opinion that fast and in the night tends to be better so evidence doesnt get tossed (or used on them)
The mother is a professional, who previously had good relations with the police, not some lay-about... so I'm very interested to hear how the police could justify such a heavy handed response from one phone call (from a view obscured by blinds).
I had a friend who had the police kick in his door at home (after they had found mace and a deactivated pistol at her term time address) his family being both white and middle class in the extreme.
Case in point, crime doesnt tend to abide by the rules of social class. I imagine the ploddies would get in trouble if they decided to start policing solely on the basis of family incomes levels.
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glassalice
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(Original post by Old Skool Freak)
I think you should have post a link to the actual news article, rather than what you choose to post, cause I know for a fact there are lots of bits you've missed out. With an independent link, people can make an impartial judgement on the matter.

http://camdennewjournal.com/article/...e-over-toy-gun

Fair enough, the police have a duty to respond to any considerable threat, but normally, I would thought they would have done some kind of surveillance first to establish the threat, before going in with (pardon the pun) "all guns blazing"

The mother is a professional, who previously had good relations with the police, not some lay-about... so I'm very interested to hear how the police could justify such a heavy handed response from one phone call (from a view obscured by blinds).
That is the full news article.
Whether the BBC is biased is a whole other debate.
https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.bbc...ondon-53532799
Last edited by glassalice; 1 week ago
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Old Skool Freak
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(Original post by Napp)
Which bits were missed out?
It was mainly the background of the family that I felt was down-played in the OP.

I also recall hearing that there was a family member who worked closely for or with the police in some way, but I can't find the link (it was a video link) and without that I accept I can't prove that point, or I made some kind of mistake / oversight.

Wouldnt this rather depend on the situation? Many officers taking the opinion that fast and in the night tends to be better so evidence doesnt get tossed (or used on them)
IMHO, the level of response should depend on the evidence the police have against the suspect.

Their response would've been justified if it was the home of a known gang member, or they'd surveyed the house for some time... or perhaps if they had "good reason" to believe something was going to happen that evening. Given they only had one phone call to go on, I think a more appropriate response would've been for a single officer (or pair, as is protocol), to knock on the door, speak to the occupant(s) and make a better judgement / risk assessment based on that.

It's worth noting that they could've had a full back-up squad outside in case it all kicks off.

I had a friend who had the police kick in his door at home (after they had found mace and a deactivated pistol at her term time address) his family being both white and middle class in the extreme.
Case in point, crime doesnt tend to abide by the rules of social class. I imagine the ploddies would get in trouble if they decided to start policing solely on the basis of family incomes levels.
I can't comment on your friends situation, as I don't know the details... although maybe someone should look at police protocol in these situations.

I understand police need to be tough on armed crime, but I really don't want the British police to become really heavy handed like they are in the USA.
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DiddyDec
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Seems very heavy handed for a report of a child with something that looks like a gun in his own home. The logical conclusion is it is a toy gun like many children have, while the police do need to follow up on the report there seems to be scant evidence that it required a full armed response in this way.

Did race play a part in the response? Probably, it is the Met.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
Seems very heavy handed for a report of a child with something that looks like a gun in his own home. The logical conclusion is it is a toy gun like many children have, while the police do need to follow up on the report there seems to be scant evidence that it required a full armed response in this way.

Did race play a part in the response? Probably, it is the Met.
There's absolutely no evidence that race played a part and that's a huge generalisation. The Met has over 30,000 officers and to suggest every one of them is a racist is absurd.

The report would have been "young IC3 male, possibly in possession of a firearm". It's likely the complainant did not report the fact he looked like a child and thus the control room could have assumed him to be older. A full armed response is necessary, as let's be honest guns are no longer a rare sight in many parts of London given the surge in gun crime. It would have been a bigger tragedy if unarmed officers responded and were left critically wounded by a firearm because they lacked the protection to apprehend them.

Whether that child was white or black, armed response units would still have been dispatched simply because there was a (well-founded) suspicion that a firearm was in his possession. You seem to throw accusations of racism without any evidence for it. Stopping a black person does not immediately constitute racism.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
There's absolutely no evidence that race played a part and that's a huge generalisation. The Met has over 30,000 officers and to suggest every one of them is a racist is absurd.

The report would have been "young IC3 male, possibly in possession of a firearm". It's likely the complainant did not report the fact he looked like a child and thus the control room could have assumed him to be older. A full armed response is necessary, as let's be honest guns are no longer a rare sight in many parts of London given the surge in gun crime. It would have been a bigger tragedy if unarmed officers responded and were left critically wounded by a firearm because they lacked the protection to apprehend them.

Whether that child was white or black, armed response units would still have been dispatched simply because there was a (well-founded) suspicion that a firearm was in his possession. You seem to throw accusations of racism without any evidence for it. Stopping a black person does not immediately constitute racism.
The Met is still institutionally racist, some progress has been made since the publication of the Macpherson Report but the Met still has the same leaders rising through the ranks of failure. Take Commissioner **** as a great example, leads the operation that ends with an innocent Brazilian man having his brains plastered on the tube wall. The Met do everything in their power to cover it up to blame the victim, **** becomes the head of the Met.

The Met are well known to be a racist organisation, they don't even treat their own black employees with much respect.

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-bame-officers
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...-careers-black
https://news.sky.com/story/black-tee...earch-12034193
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-deteriorating

Plenty more of those stories going back decades.
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JOSH4598
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
The Met is still institutionally racist, some progress has been made since the publication of the Macpherson Report but the Met still has the same leaders rising through the ranks of failure. Take Commissioner **** as a great example, leads the operation that ends with an innocent Brazilian man having his brains plastered on the tube wall. The Met do everything in their power to cover it up to blame the victim, **** becomes the head of the Met.

The Met are well known to be a racist organisation, they don't even treat their own black employees with much respect.

https://www.theguardian.com/commenti...-bame-officers
https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/...-careers-black
https://news.sky.com/story/black-tee...earch-12034193
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-deteriorating

Plenty more of those stories going back decades.
You're right that some black officers feel discriminated against, it sadly happens in many workplaces yet that is the fault of racist officers/colleagues and not the organisation as a whole. Those individuals deserve to face disciplinary action, I don't think there's any debate about that.

However there are lots of 'stories' from some black officers, some completely valid yet others which don't make a great deal of sense. I'm namely thinking of this story which is a fairly typical one - a number of former BAME senior officers (who have been promoted to the 'top brass') retire, run to the press then accuse the service of racism. If the organisation was so racist, why would they promote BAME officers, and why not raise the issue when in a position of influence?

Leroy Logan is quite a prominent character, who has called the Met out for being racist. He is black, yet was also promoted and retired as a Superintendent following a 30-year career. He was chair of the Black Police Association and had every opportunity to challenge alleged racism in the service. I don't want to use the bandwagon fallacy but you do have to question why he and many others bring these issues up and drag the service through tribunal proceedings many years after they leave. The Professional Standards Department deal with any allegations of racism at all ranks between officers, and rest assured they act decisively often to avoid tribunals and costs.

I genuinely don't belive officers worry about the colour of their colleague's skin - they're all united in service and all have each other's backs when things kick off. Of course racism still exists, and should be called out internally, but the problem is by no means as endemic as many are led to believe.

In terms of racial tensions between the Met and a certain section of Londoners, there's no doubt relations between the police and public has deteriorated in recent years. I personally put that down to social media, and the growing distribution of videos or allegations which give a fairly short snapshot of an incident - a Met chief has spoken about this and criticised the growing trend. People can write what they like on Twitter, completely unvalidated and unfounded yet it is shared thousands of times. That leads to an untrue perception of the police, to which they are often unable to hit back at.

It's a well-used fact that black people are 5x more likely to be the victim of a violent crime (homicides) and 8x more likely to be the perpetrator in London. As a result the Met stop more black people, which some find controversial. The allegations of 'institutional racism' are simply fiction on that front - people expect the ethnic make-up of stops to be exactly proportionate to the ethnic make-up of the area which doesn't reflect crime trends. If young black males are statistically the typical victim and perpetrator, it's mindless to not stop young black males in pursuit of eliminating violent crime.

'Institutional racism' is a phrase used far too often, often by disgruntled members of the anti-police parade who may oppose a particular action or decision which to many is completely justifiable.
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Nabu123
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I think we also have to have the conversation of how society views black children as less innocent and treats them as if they were adults. I refuse to believe its police protocol to point guns at children and stuff them in the backs of police vans. The fact that all this was done only after one call, not even checking if they were young or vulnerable people in the home is shoookkkiiiiinnngggg.
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Napp
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(Original post by Nabu123)
I think we also have to have the conversation of how society views black children as less innocent and treats them as if they were adults. I refuse to believe its police protocol to point guns at children and stuff them in the backs of police vans. The fact that all this was done only after one call, not even checking if they were young or vulnerable people in the home is shoookkkiiiiinnngggg.
"excuse me ma'am we've had reports that your child was waiving a pistol around, do you mind if we do a quick check of your house for vulnerable people before we come back and kick you door in"
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PTMalewski
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(Original post by Napp)
It would seem she is playing on it, this being a completely normal and proper thing for the police to do if there is suspected to be a firearm in play. I mean, what does she expect them to do ?
Probably what the police did in Birmingham about my buddy's cousin's motorcycle being set on fire for three times.
He reported to the police that it's his neigbour who sets the motorbike on fire, but the police refused to take action because they're afraid of racism investigation.

(Original post by Nabu123)
I think we also have to have the conversation of how society views black children as less innocent and treats them as if they were adults. I refuse to believe its police protocol to point guns at children and stuff them in the backs of police vans. The fact that all this was done only after one call, not even checking if they were young or vulnerable people in the home is shoookkkiiiiinnngggg.
So you're saying that when a White child runs around the street with pistol in hand, the police doesn't take action?
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by JOSH4598)
You're right that some black officers feel discriminated against, it sadly happens in many workplaces yet that is the fault of racist officers/colleagues and not the organisation as a whole. Those individuals deserve to face disciplinary action, I don't think there's any debate about that.

However there are lots of 'stories' from some black officers, some completely valid yet others which don't make a great deal of sense. I'm namely thinking of this story which is a fairly typical one - a number of former BAME senior officers (who have been promoted to the 'top brass') retire, run to the press then accuse the service of racism. If the organisation was so racist, why would they promote BAME officers, and why not raise the issue when in a position of influence?

Leroy Logan is quite a prominent character, who has called the Met out for being racist. He is black, yet was also promoted and retired as a Superintendent following a 30-year career. He was chair of the Black Police Association and had every opportunity to challenge alleged racism in the service. I don't want to use the bandwagon fallacy but you do have to question why he and many others bring these issues up and drag the service through tribunal proceedings many years after they leave. The Professional Standards Department deal with any allegations of racism at all ranks between officers, and rest assured they act decisively often to avoid tribunals and costs.

I genuinely don't belive officers worry about the colour of their colleague's skin - they're all united in service and all have each other's backs when things kick off. Of course racism still exists, and should be called out internally, but the problem is by no means as endemic as many are led to believe.

In terms of racial tensions between the Met and a certain section of Londoners, there's no doubt relations between the police and public has deteriorated in recent years. I personally put that down to social media, and the growing distribution of videos or allegations which give a fairly short snapshot of an incident - a Met chief has spoken about this and criticised the growing trend. People can write what they like on Twitter, completely unvalidated and unfounded yet it is shared thousands of times. That leads to an untrue perception of the police, to which they are often unable to hit back at.

It's a well-used fact that black people are 5x more likely to be the victim of a violent crime (homicides) and 8x more likely to be the perpetrator in London. As a result the Met stop more black people, which some find controversial. The allegations of 'institutional racism' are simply fiction on that front - people expect the ethnic make-up of stops to be exactly proportionate to the ethnic make-up of the area which doesn't reflect crime trends. If young black males are statistically the typical victim and perpetrator, it's mindless to not stop young black males in pursuit of eliminating violent crime.

'Institutional racism' is a phrase used far too often, often by disgruntled members of the anti-police parade who may oppose a particular action or decision which to many is completely justifiable.
The organisation is responsible for the culture of their workplace. If racial discrimination goes unchecked or worse encouraged by those leading that mentality will bleed through the rest of the organisation.

The first black officer in the UK joined in 1856, it was not until 2004 for a black person to rise to the rank of chief constable, that is nearly 150 years. The former head of the Police Federation seems to think the Freemasons are involved with the lack of progress which would not surprise me given the prevalence of the Freemasons within police ranks. Black officers do raise the issues when in the position to do so but rarely do they actually have any power to make those change because they aren't able to rise high enough.

I don't have any faith for police investigating themselves with the prevalence of Freemasons mixed in with ongoing investigation of Operation Embley looking at corruption professional standards. This article raises the point very well, 73 officers found to be corrupt only 11 convicted in court. Here is a classic example of the police investigating themselves and finding no wrongdoing for arresting an innocent black man to allow the actual criminal to get away, the police even lied about what happened to cover up their own **** up and racism.

Of course racism exists, but it should not be "called out internally" it should be made public and taken to public trial. In the UK we have Open Justice;

"This is the reason it is so important not to forget why proceedings are required to be subjected to the full glare of a public hearing. It is necessary because the public nature of proceedings deters inappropriate behaviour on the part of the court. It also maintains the public's confidence in the administration of justice. It enables the public to know that justice is being administered impartially." - Judge Woolf R v Public Aid

If these matter were made public it could reassure the public that the police actually deal with improper behaviour rather than holding secret meetings.

Social Media has been a great liberator because it shows what happens to many people at the hands of police and it provides valuable evidence for victims of improper police contact. I'm sure the police would love to do away with public scrutiny of their actions.

Stop and Search is proven to be a waste of police resources. I have no issue with stopping people actually suspected of a crime not just stopping them based on skin colour. All this does is raise another generation of black men and women fearful of the people who supposed to be the ones to protect them. Worsening community relations and most importantly lowering crime detection because people don't want to report incidents to the police with the threat they may become the victim of a police overreaction.

"Institutionally Racist" is a quote from the Macpherson Report, the report into racism in the Met.
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Surnia
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(Original post by Old Skool Freak)
I also recall hearing that there was a family member who worked closely for or with the police in some way, but I can't find the link

Given they only had one phone call to go on, I think a more appropriate response would've been for a single officer (or pair, as is protocol), to knock on the door, speak to the occupant(s)
Part of the response is in what the mother says, about an increase in gun violence in the area. The police do an assessment on the threat in the community and the risk to officers to decide whether they will send arned officers. And let's not forget how the the deaths of PCs Nicola Hughes and Fiona Bone occurred.

As for having a family member working for the police, so what? That doesn't exempt anyone from committing criminal acts. There was an armed raid by police on accommodation at my uni because of a report of a firearms offence by a member of the military who lived there whilst doing a sponsored degree.
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L i b
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(Original post by DiddyDec)
The organisation is responsible for the culture of their workplace. If racial discrimination goes unchecked or worse encouraged by those leading that mentality will bleed through the rest of the organisation.
It's funny how in virtually all of these reports suggesting the police have been racist in their response to an incident, the person accusing them has done something suspicious, silly or downright illegal.

The first black officer in the UK joined in 1856, it was not until 2004 for a black person to rise to the rank of chief constable, that is nearly 150 years.
Completely unrepresentative, of course. It was the 40s/50s before even a noticeable number of black officers were in UK policing - and numbers were still very low until relatively recently. Keep in mind that it normally takes a fairly lengthy career to reach chief constable level.

The former head of the Police Federation seems to think the Freemasons are involved with the lack of progress which would not surprise me given the prevalence of the Freemasons within police ranks.
That's utterly mental.

Stop and Search is proven to be a waste of police resources. I have no issue with stopping people actually suspected of a crime not just stopping them based on skin colour. All this does is raise another generation of black men and women fearful of the people who supposed to be the ones to protect them.
I'm sorry, that's ridiculously disconnected from reality. The idea that people in these communities fear the police more than they have in the past is nonsense: quite the contrary, the police are openly harassed, attacked and goaded in a way that has never happened before. The police have never been weaker in their ability to respond to crime, and the result has been a lack of respect for law enforcement.

I have no doubt some element of racial profiling takes place, whether consciously or not. However it's far less important than profiling by age, locality, dress, accent and so on. We expect police to use their intuition when keeping communities safe - and the two will always be inextricably linked.
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Nabu123
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(Original post by Napp)
"excuse me ma'am we've had reports that your child was waiving a pistol around, do you mind if we do a quick check of your house for vulnerable people before we come back and kick you door in"
Do the police not have the ability to check council records or what. I'm sure there is some way to check whose living there before aiming guns at innocent kids, or maybe I'm just crazy for thinking that's wrong.
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DiddyDec
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(Original post by L i b)
It's funny how in virtually all of these reports suggesting the police have been racist in their response to an incident, the person accusing them has done something suspicious, silly or downright illegal.

Completely unrepresentative, of course. It was the 40s/50s before even a noticeable number of black officers were in UK policing - and numbers were still very low until relatively recently. Keep in mind that it normally takes a fairly lengthy career to reach chief constable level.

That's utterly mental.

I'm sorry, that's ridiculously disconnected from reality. The idea that people in these communities fear the police more than they have in the past is nonsense: quite the contrary, the police are openly harassed, attacked and goaded in a way that has never happened before. The police have never been weaker in their ability to respond to crime, and the result has been a lack of respect for law enforcement.

I have no doubt some element of racial profiling takes place, whether consciously or not. However it's far less important than profiling by age, locality, dress, accent and so on. We expect police to use their intuition when keeping communities safe - and the two will always be inextricably linked.
I guess Baroness Lawrence was really suspicious when her son was murdered, probably why the Met used undercover units to follow the family for years.
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Surnia
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(Original post by Nabu123)
Do the police not have the ability to check council records or what. I'm sure there is some way to check whose living there before aiming guns at innocent kids, or maybe I'm just crazy for thinking that's wrong.
First, the police will not want to delay responding to a firearm incident and, second, knowing the occupants of a house does nothing to tell you how they might behave or who else might be in there that's not listed.
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What are you most likely to do if you don't get the grades you were expecting?

Go through Clearing (178)
38.12%
Take autumn exams (144)
30.84%
Look for a job (16)
3.43%
Consider an apprenticeship (21)
4.5%
Take a year out (80)
17.13%
Something else (let us know in the thread!) (28)
6%

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