February 3, 2016 by socialaction2014
On 11 January 2016, Sarah Reed, a black British woman, was found dead in her cell under suspicious circumstances in Holloway Prison in north London, and no one knows about it because the Home Office put out a media gag order. Lee Jasper has spoken to the family and reported on the story in his blog http://leejasper.blogspot.com/…/sarah-reid-black-woman-vict…. Here’s my summary:
– In 2012, Sarah Reed was falsely arrested for shoplifting on Regent Street and then assaulted by Police Constable James Kiddie, who dragged her through the store by her hair and punched her in the head repeatedly. PC Kiddie was later found guilty of assault and fired from his job as a police officer with the Metropolitan Police. The same police officer was also found to have used excessive force when he sprayed CS gas in the face of UK Uncut protesters in 2011. (Background here: http://www.theguardian.com/…/policeman-punched-woman-uk-unc…)
– In October 2015, while a patient detained under Section 3 of the Mental Health Act at Maudsley Hospital in south London (since the tragic and sudden death of her newborn baby in 2003, Sarah suffered periodically from bouts of mental health issues), Sarah was the survivor of an attempted rape. She fought off her attacker, injuring him, and the staff called the police. It was Sarah, and not her attacker, who ended up being arrested. The family believes that Sarah was targeted for arrest as an act for retribution for challenging the racism and violence of PC Kiddie back in 2012.
– While Sarah was in police custody, she was denied medical assistance, and never received any medication. On 11 January 2015, the Reed family received a phone call from Holloway Prison informing them that Sarah was dead. They were told that Sarah had ‘strangled’ herself while lying on her bed, which from all accounts appears an almost physical impossibility.
– The police not only assault Sarah in 2012, arrest her for her own attempted rape in 2015, and put her in police custody without access to vital mental health care, but then they treat the family like rubbish. The prison requested the family come identify Sarah’s body, but once they arrived they were refused the right to do so, and the family say prison staff treated them in a hostile and aggressive manner. Now, the family is demanding answers and accountability.
What’s happened to #SarahReed is unforgivable – the media must report, the IPCC must open an investigation, and the police officers involved must be held accountable.