It was two years ago today that George Floyd was murdered by the police in the United States. As we all, he was pinned to the ground, and one of the police officers kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck for over eight minutes. These appalling events leading to his death caused an international outcry.
My thoughts are with the Floyd family during the second anniversary of this atrocious crime. It must have been truly horrifying to hear from the world’s media about the circumstances in which their loved one was murdered. This memory will never leave them, and it should never leave us.
This type of abuse, injustice and discrimination is a problem in the US, but as we all know it is very much a problem in the UK. In the UK black communities endure systemic and institutional discrimination. Black communities are disproportionately targeted by the police and have harsher experiences with the criminal justice system.
In the year 2020/21 there were 114,958 hate crime offences. This was a 9% increase from the previous year. With deep regret the problem is getting worse not better. Just this year we heard the case of Child Q. Child Q, who is a black schoolgirl, was stripped of her clothes and searched at her school by police officers whilst she was on her menstrual cycle. The school and the police failed to keep her safe. In fact, speaking as a former child protection social worker, I think that they have acted in the most abusive manner. Professionals need to be held accountable and standards need to be improved.
The Public Order Bill, which was published this month, is ill-judged and will create more harm than good. Not only would this let the police clamp down on protests such as the Black Lives Matter, rallies that were held after the George Floyd’s murder, but it expands the powers of stop and search. This will allow police officers to stop and search protesters without suspicion. This is wrong.
Nevertheless, as a community and as a society we need to come together! We must continue to fight racism at all levels! As a Member of Parliament for Lewisham East I will do whatever I can to combat racism and discrimination in the UK!