Friday, 12 June 2020

How should we react to the removal of the Edward Colston statue?

It’s no surprise that reactions to protesters’ removal of Edward Colston’s statue in Bristol have included liberals worrying about the rule of law. The outrage, not at the statue honouring a slave trader, but at its removal by a ‘mob’ rather than by democratic means without visible legal ramifications, has been notable.

What is vital is the equal application of fair laws.

The rule of law, after all, is central to liberalism. Right?

Not quite. What is vital is the equal application of fair laws. And these protests were born out of anger that the law and police treatment have not been equally and fairly applied to many black people and communities of colour.

Since 1990, there have been 1,741 deaths following contact with the police in the UK. This, of course, is a problem in itself. But when paired with the fact that black people are twice as likely as white people to die in police custody, the very unsettling reality of the unequal policing of black people is hard to ignore.

the very unsettling reality of the unequal policing of black people is hard to ignore

Of course, not all of these deaths will have involved wrongful or illegal behaviour by police officers. But even if you assume that a very low proportion of those 1,741 deaths were in some way caused by police misconduct, you would expect a fair number of cases to have resulted in the successful criminal prosecution of an officer.

So how many officers have been prosecuted following the investigation over 1,741 deaths?

 


Follow this link for more info: http://www.libdems.org.uk/liberals-edward-colston