Here we go again: protests, police platitudes, and perturbed politicians over cops’ racism and misogynoir in Croydon

Protest in Croydon Met Police Black woman bus fare
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People held a protest outside a Croydon police station over cops’ abuse of a Black woman after they suspected her of dodging a bus fare – even though she had paid. However, wider questions are now being asked of the Met Police’s actions – not least, bosses’ response to the racist and misogynistic actions of cops.

Protesting the police in Croydon

As the Canary previously reported, the Met Police are once again facing anger and criticism for officers’ racist treatment of a Black woman. Cops arrested, then “de-arrested”, the woman on Friday 21 July – because they thought she’d had dodged a bus fare. The Met also claim it was because she was being “abusive”. But as the Canary previously wrote:

Yes, that old chestnut: a Black person defends themselves, therefore they must be abusive.

This was racism and misogynoir in action from the cops – which left her and her young child visibly distressed. So, people took to a Croydon police station on Tuesday 25 July for a demo.

Community groups in Croydon, as well as branches of national groups, had organised the protest. Around 100 people came out for the demo:

Croydon’s toxic Labour Party, who’ve bankrupted the council and are now making poor people pay for it, were nowhere to be seen:

The local Green Party were there, though:

Campaigner Afua Rose echoed what the Canary previously wrote over the impact on the mother’s child. She said of the cops:

How can you take a mother… who could have been my daughter… and manhandle her in front of a…child? Do they understand the corrosion and toxicity they’re putting into this little baby boy? So when he grows up hating the police… why is it that they don’t understand that this is a cycle that keeps continuing time and time again?

Overall, the demo showed the strength of feeling both in Croydon and nationally about the Met’s actions. Moreover, since the Canary last reported on this there’s been more developments.

Half-baked investigations and half-baked platitudes

First, and the Met did its usual – referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). As BBC News reported:

The police watchdog says it received a “complaint referral” from the Met on Monday afternoon, with the complaint alleging the woman was “racially profiled and verbally abused by an officer”.

Not that this will instil confidence in Black communities, or racialised groups more broadly. As Novara Media previously wrote in 2022:

of over 23,000 complaints made about poor policing between 2020-2021, only 18 resulted in a police officer facing a misconduct meeting or hearing. Complaints against police have risen 11% in the last 12 months, new figures also reveal.

Then, you have boss cops giving the usual half-baked platitudes once they remembered smart phones with cameras exist so people now have proof of their officers’ actions. Chief superintendent Andy Brittain told BBC News:

our comms perhaps could have been slightly better and and then it’s kind of cascaded into quite a big community concern.

You don’t say, Andy. The Voice‘s editor Lester Holloway dissected the Met’s ‘comms’ on the incident:

Or rather, as one Twitter user put it:

The Met put out a second statement on Twitter as well – which didn’t help them, either:

Then, Brittain also told BBC News:

Trust has taken a hit as a result of the video, so it’s really important we understand what took place.

We assume he was neither joking, nor being ironic, when he said “trust has taken a hit” because of the video – like this is a new occurrence. Black communities have never been able to trust the Met – and now, the majority of London’s population don’t trust them, either.

People have also been pointing out that one of the officers called the woman a “daft cow” during the incident:

This just compounds the stench of misogynoir seeping from the cops.

Nothing will change

Overall, though the cops’ treatment of the Black woman and her son has prompted the usual response from everyone affected when the Met’s racism rears its ugly head.

The Met has issued non-apologies. The IOPC will investigate but it’s unlikely any officer will face action. Politicians like Labour’s Sadiq Khan and Florence Eshalomi have asked for ‘urgent explanations‘ and expressed concern – but when the chips are down, will still support the police as an institution. Racists have trolled people over this on social media. And Black people are back to having to protest – all while feeling less and less safe on their own streets.

Here we go again, you’d be forgiven for thinking. If history, and the present, has taught us anything, it’s that colonialism is so entrenched in UK society that cops racism and misogynoir is systematically embedded in the structures of the police – because it’s meant to be. The police keep showing us who they are, over and over.

Only abolition will suffice. But in a white supremacist society, there’s a long road ahead.

Featured image via Nadine White – Twitter screengrab

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  • Show Comments
    1. No-one comes out of this smelling of roses. The police, as they are trained to do, purposely escalated a minor infraction by a member of the working class (which would have happened were their target a man of any skin colour) into what they exist for: making an arrest. The passenger refused to cooperate with a low-paid, low-status worker who was merely asking for her travel card to prove she had paid her fare. Why did she do that?

      The working class has never been able to trust the police because the police is part of the ruling capitalist class – its enemy. Racism is a valuable tool of capitalism, not an end in itself.

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