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Vol. 76/No. 27      July 23, 2012

UK protest: Cop ‘just shot
my son, no questions asked’
MANCHESTER, England—“On the third of March 2012 my son was executed by an armed response officer. I want this officer charged with murder,” announced Marina Schofield-Ahmed to a protest of 200 here on Father’s Day, June 17, called by the Justice for Grainger campaign. Anthony Grainger, 36, was the father of two.

Grainger was sitting at the wheel of a parked car in Culcheth when another car screeched to a halt in front of him and a specialist officer shot him through the windscreen.

Two other men in the car with Grainger were arrested on the scene, and a third the day after. All three are charged with “conspiracy” to commit robbery. Police recovered no weapons.

Grainger and the other men had been under cop surveillance for six weeks.

“They just shot him no questions asked,” Tony Grainger, Anthony Grainger’s father, told the Militant.

A statement by the family pointed out that there is no video footage of the incident. There “were 16 armed officers involved as well as other unarmed officers and a large number of hi-tech, highly equipped police vehicles and equipment at the scene,” said the statement. “We fear a cover-up.”

The government’s Independent Police Complaints Commission announced April 4 that it would pursue a criminal investigation against the officer who shot Grainger.

Between 2000 and 2011, the IPCC investigated 333 deaths in police custody, and recommended that 24 cops be prosecuted. None were convicted.

Some media have smeared Grainger. The Telegraph, for example, described him as “an odd jobs man” and pointed to his criminal record.

On the day of the protest a spirited crowd assembled at Piccadilly Gardens. Banners and placards read, “No more executions by terror cops,” “Justice 4 Anthony Grainger murdered by the police” and “Bring Anthony Grainger’s killers to justice,” among others.

Speeches by members of the family, various campaign groups and political parties followed. A minute of silence was held in memory of those who died during contact with the police. The protest then marched to the police station on Bootle Street. Protesters handed out leaflets about the case to passersby.

“There is a ‘law’ in this country,” said Janet Adler at the rally, “that police officers will not be prosecuted, no matter what. This ‘law’ needs to change but it can only be changed by the people.” Janet Adler is the sister of Christopher Adler, who died in police custody.

“Growing police brutality, harassment and imprisonment is part of the broader attack on the working class today, on our wages, our living conditions, and our dignity,” Andrés Mendoza, from the Communist League, told the crowd.

Nyamekye Simms, a participant at the protest, said cops “patrol the streets, harass and probe people constantly” where she lives in Moss Side, an area with many Afro-Caribbean and immigrant workers.  
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