Torture Bleeds

As no single source includes the full story I have edited together the following from current reports because all the details are relevant to why this has caught my attention-

Two policemen were jailed for 18 months today for inflicting “deliberate cruelty” on a 19-year-old woman in custody in an incident described by a judge as a “little short of torture”. Pc Jason Hanvey, 37, and Sgt Andrew Kennedy, 51, showed “appalling and inexcusable conduct” at Collyhurst police station in 2008, a jury heard.

The incident began in October 2008 when Miss Keigher and Jamie Lee Hall, also now 19, were arrested -on suspicion of carrying out a racially aggravated assault- following an incident in Piccadilly Gardens in Manchester city centre. Both girls was taken to Collyhurst police station and were being booked in when the ordeal began.

Hanvey taunted her that he earned more money than her and that she was on benefits.

When they arrived Miss Hall complained that officers were being so rough they were in danger of breaking her arm. Kennedy responded by saying: “I think you’ve lost, don’t you? Who gives a —-?”

PC Jason Hanvey, 37, attacked 19-year-old Amy Keigher at a police station and threatened to rip her ‘f*****g skull off’. Hanvey grabbed her by the hair and forced her head down on to a desk -which caused her to complain the police were “pathetic”. He then brought the handcuffs over her head from behind while she sobbed in pain, she is searched and the girl can be heard asking him to let go of her. In CCTV pictures taken in the police station, he is seen to hold her in that position for more than a minute. While Keigher sobbed in pain, Kennedy stood nearby showing “complete indifference” and appeared to condone Hanvey’s actions. When she pleaded that Hanvey was hurting her, the custody sergeant retorted: ‘If you misbehave you will be hurt. It is the technique we are trained to do – hurt.’ Before Hanvey orders the traumatised teenager to beg for mercy by saying: ‘Pretty please’.

Kennedy later failed to inform her of her right to both free independent legal advice and to inform someone that she was being held in a police station. When she asked for a phone call he refused, expressing doubt that anyone would be concerned for her and saying he did not want her to wake anyone up at 2am.

The court heard the two suspects later pleaded guilty in court to an offence of common assault and although Miss Keigher did initially make a complaint about her treatment by police which resulted in the investigation into the officers, she later withdrew it.

Detectives passed the matter to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) which led an investigation before it referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service.

The police refused to release the CCTV footage of the incident to the media, “to ensure future disciplinary hearings are not compromised”.

The judge told Hanvey: “You could and should have stopped what as happening. That was your job and you allowed Hanvey to act in the way he did. Moreover, you appeared to approve of what he did by going on to deny her er right to a telephone call. That is why I’m giving the same sentence to both of you.” Judge Gee said Hanvey’s actions could be described as “absolute thuggery”. Referring to his conviction in 1998, he went on: “Despite the age of that conviction, I regard it as a relevant fact in your case. Cases of assault by police officers are difficult to detect and are always regarded as serious when they are detected”.

The October 2008 attack at Collyhurst police station came 10 years after Hanvy was convicted for punching a prisoner in the face at the city centre Bootle Street station but was allowed to keep his job. He was convicted of assault by magistrates in Manchester and then faced a disciplinary hearing in February 1999 which was conducted personally by the then chief constable Sir David Wilmot. Sir David concluded the offence was “out of character” and that the suspect had contributed in some part to the incident, Manchester Crown Court heard. The Judge said, “On May 15th 1998 you struck a man, Mark Hewitt, in the face causing injuries. You denied the offence and were convicted for common assault. Somewhat remarkably you were allowed to keep your job.”

In a statement, Greater Manchester Police said: “The offence in question occurred 12 years ago and, following the resulting misconduct hearing before the Chief Constable at the time, he was retained by the force due to his previous good character. Thereafter the officer’s behaviour was monitored for a suitable period of time before, like anyone else, he was deemed suitable for deployment in any operational role.”

Hanvey has now resigned from GMP following his conviction for using unlawful force, while Kennedy, of Atherton, has retired after his conviction for failing to prevent such force.

Judge Gee said to the pair: “During the time we have had together I have detected in neither of you not one hint of remorse or regret for what happened that night. In the witness box you sought to justify what you did in what I regard as an arrogant fashion.”

Members of both officers’ families were in court and one woman gasped “no” as the judge imposed his sentence.

[from:- Manchester Evening News, Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Fleetwood Weekly News, BBC]

I do not believe this was an aberration by the officers, neither reacted to the others abuse with shock or telling them to stop it, especially with Hanvey’s record the Sgt didn’t even warn him off so he didn’t get into trouble again (let alone because it was wrong). Also it says she was searched, so did a WPC do that and thus another officer who failed to stop it or did the male officers search her, while she was held in a stress position (so beloved of torturers) and taunted while she begged for the pain to stop, in which case I find it hard not to think some element of sexual sadism (clearly of the non consensual variety) may be involved. In concert with the power taunting over relative wealth and status. Also please note the current police rigid handcuffs made by Hiatt (who also supply Gitmo) –

Amnesty International has also criticised Hiatt, claiming that implements made by it have been used by despotic regimes around the world in the torture and incarceration of prisoners. Hiatt refused to say how many pairs of handcuffs it makes for police forces in Britain but confirmed it was by far the biggest supplier.

British police prefer rigid handcuffs or speedcuffs, which are hinged in the middle and said in the Hiatt catalogue to offer “greater subject control”. The more traditional chain-linked handcuffs have been supplied by Hiatt to law enforcement agencies in other parts of the world.

They are an innovation that along with the removal of our right to silence signalled the slow drift into a more oppressive security force role of the police. The refusal to allow a phone call and get a brief are predictable in these thuggish abuses of power. As is her later dropping the complaint which suggests to me there might have been intimidation. But for them it was too late, the detectives kept the case going, so good for them and amazingly the IPCC managed to get a prosecution with the video evidence (something they apparently can’t manage with the Met). There is just no way this behaviour came out of nowhere and as the previous conviction shows there is form, Hanvey and Kennedy’s attitude did not magically appear that night, this is an expression of how they relate to people of less power, they taunt and abuse them, there is also a misogynist undercurrent. Certainly it is shocking for the families of the officers, the one woman gasping ‘no’ suggests support for them but I would venture to suggest there will be some quiet sighs of relief among people who have had to live with these men’s behaviour.

Torture is not new or rare in police settings, the development of torture is in part because democracies enact state violence on its citizens but the cultural and political climate demands this is done in such ways as to leave little evidence or permanent -physical- damage. However the war-on-terror era has normalised torture, has damaged work towards better human rights, in this case it creates more room for people like these officers to operate in, it is more permissive of pain compliance (hello Taser Inc!), more unquestioning of authoritarian memes. It is intriguing the Judge saw fit to say ‘Cases of assault by police officers are difficult to detect‘. However there is hope in the actions of the detectives, who did not cover up for their colleagues, who were rightly disgusted with these thugs and kept the case moving forward, of course we should not expect anything less, the attack and torture was on CCTV and for once the camera did not mysteriously *malfunction that night* or some other scam. Maybe it was just they were took stupid & overconfident and ran out of friends in the force. Despotic regimes will staff their security forces with bullies and sociopaths, they are both useful for controlling the populace and in failing to be good enough at police work to catch the serious criminals who make up the regime and it’s cronies. Ridding the police of bullies like this is a small step to avoid that future, even if our elections suggest otherwise.

PS. I would add treatment like this goes on in our migrant detention camps and the govt with a nod and a wink approves it.

Posted in Authoritarianism, Human Rights, Torture, War On Terror Era. Tags: , . Comments Off on Torture Bleeds

European Court of Human Rights Protects UK Citizens From Their Own Police

Thank you Euro chums & Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton & Liberty who have persevered and achieved this victory-

Police stop and search powers under UK terrorism laws have been declared illegal by human rights judges after two Londoners questioned their legality. The right to question people without grounds for suspicion – granted by the Terrorism Act of 2000 – violates the Human Rights Convention, said the European Court of Human Rights.

The ruling came in a case brought by two Londoners who were stopped and questioned by police near an arms fair in the city in 2003. Kevin Gillan and Pennie Quinton were both searched on the same day in the area of the Defence Systems and Equipment International Exhibition at the Excel Centre in Docklands, where there had already been protests and demonstrations. Nothing incriminating was found on either of them and they went to court questioning the legality of stop and search powers. The High Court and the Court of Appeal said the powers were legitimate given the risk of terrorism in London. But the human rights court disagreed.

The Home Office called it ‘disappointing‘ and I would guess the fuzz will keep stopping and searching as most people have neither the time, money or determination to challenge each stop and the plod will come up with some arcane justification for their illegal activity, y’know, as usual.

Section 44 is supposed to give the police the powers to search for “articles of a kind which could be used in connection with terrorism” in a designated area renewable every 28 days. But since it came into force in 2001 it has been widely used against anti-war and anti-globalisation protesters, photographers and even Japanese tourists. More than 117,000 searches took place under the powers in 2008 and the European judges drew special attention to the statistics showing black and Asian people were at least four times more likely to be stopped.

Posted in Authoritarianism, Human Rights, Racism. Tags: , , . Comments Off on European Court of Human Rights Protects UK Citizens From Their Own Police

Bullshit!

So City of London Police say they are right to stop photography because they caught some terrorists who were doing it, except…none were ever charged or convicted of terrorism-

The police said the CPS had decided there was sufficient evidence to bring terrorism charges, but it was not in the public interest because they would have received the same sentence as for fraud.

Bullshit! They really do think we are stupid, so the government would pass up a chance to convict on terrorism charges and defend its authoritarian police force and justify its Prevent spying program and its wars of aggression. The rest of the articles about this are full of smears and accusations against the gang none of which is substantiated and all tied up with a bow of- so there, terrorists are everywhere and stopping photography is how we catch them. Just look at the hard evidence they release to the media-

  • one man was caught filming and acting suspiciously at Liverpool Street…City of London Police, who led the investigation, said the filming was an example of “hostile reconnaissance”. {So that’s it folks we are not taking pictures or making photographs we are engaging in hostile reconnaissance, what a lovely military term, good old 4th gen warfare, no civilians we are all potential ‘enemy combatants’ now}
  • It showed him examining Oxford Circus, Mornington Crescent and Camden Town Tube stations. He had filmed underground maps and lifts, CCTV cameras, entrances and exits of stations. {er you mean he filmed the station?}
  • During the video, the man gave a muttered running commentary in an obscure North African dialect. A translator said the man said at one point: “There are cameras there, there are cameras everywhere.” {Well case closed Inspector, he didn’t speaky The English, and the phrase ‘There are cameras there, there are cameras everywhere‘ is now evidence of terrorism? God help Jessops staff talking to customers}
  • Police discovered the gang also visited shopping centres in Hatfield, Hertfordshire, Bluewater in Kent, and Bridgend, south Wales. Two men were subsequently convicted of a huge mobile phone and luxury goods fraud scam and deported after serving prison sentences. {Gosh petty crooks went to shopping centres, um and that’s terrorism not say part of their fraud activities or y’kno…shopping? Also bear in mind that real terrorist cells tend to avoid overt criminal activity because they need to remain unnoticed in order to carry out their plans}
  • Police discovered that the 7 July 2005 London suicide bombers carried out reconnaissance of the Underground trains network prior to their attacks, one of the trips being a week before they struck. {So your basic guilt by association, they took photos so look it’s what terrorists do…give me fucking strength}

Bull-fucking-shit. The City of London police have decided to react to complaints of illegal and authoritarian thuggishness with a bullshit media campaign disguised as a news item about scary terrorists, put up or shut up, if they were an evil Al Qaeda cell and not just a gang of petty crooks then show the evidence. And no, video on mobile phones is not evidence on that basis I am a terrorist, I have photographed and filmed tube stations, security cameras at sensitive locations and maps, you might accuse me of bad art (which of course would be incorrect, I’ve got an artistic licence from the post office and everything) but not terrorism. This should be a free country right up until we allow this unproven PR crap to go unchallenged as it moves us into a police state. Anyone remember the Cold War or even stories now where poor locals or Brits would be arrested by foreign security forces for taking pictures and we’d all tut and say well that just proves our political system is best and we are free compared to those authoritarian police state nightmares, well game over genius and the media are happy to play along and reprint this PR Bullshit. There, have I said Bullshit enough. We should feel insulted that they think we are so stupid as to fall for this cock and bull story.
Good time to plug this (ht2 D-Notice)-

9 Out of 5,000

Scotland Yard faced calls for an “ethical audit” of all officers in its controversial riot squad tonight after figures revealed that they had received more than 5,000 complaint allegations, mostly for “oppressive behaviour”. Details of all allegations lodged against the Metropolitan police territorial support group (TSG) over the last four years reveal that only nine – less than 0.18% – were “substantiated” after an investigation by the force’s complaints department. (ht2 Harpymarx)

The TSG (who killed Ian Tomlinson) were what the SPG became (the group who murdered Blair Peach) and clearly they have absolute support from the Met who work to keep them utterly above the law, this sketch is 30 years old yet again I post it because…nothing has changed

And please read on to see how the Met protected serial torturer and racist (and former Royal Marine, attempt to be surprised) Mark Jones even when another officer acted as whistleblower (noticeably the jury chose to believe Jones rather than Pc Amechi Onwugbonu) to the assault on several teenagers, one of whom Jones called an ‘Arab cunt‘.

New Chief

North Wales Police has a new chief constable, Mark Polin, who says things like this-

“An unorganised mind environment is not for me I’m afraid.”

This will be interesting.

Update: A Q& A in the Daily Post, he comes across as a conservative on thedrugwar inc. unlike Brunstrom’s progressive attitude.

Video & Eye Witnesses Actually Deemed Enough Evidence To Prosecute A G20 Cop

I guarantee you if there was no video this would not even be happening, This Camera Kills Fascists. If you go on a demo, go with camera, make sure it’s charged and plenty of memory space to record. We have to be our own CCTV, because it oddly never works in the vicinity of security force crimes…

And They Also Have Tasers Now…

Thames Valley Police has been fined £40,000 for breaching health and safety laws when a civilian worker was accidentally shot. Pc David Micklethwaite, 52, shot control room employee Keith Tilbury, 57, during a firearms awareness course in Oxfordshire on 30 May 2007. It was revealed at Southwark Crown Court that Pc Micklethewaite had failed a gun training course, but was allowed to continue working. He mistakenly loaded a Magnum revolver with live ammunition which was kept in an old Quality Street tin. The judge said this practice was a “disaster waiting to happen”.

Pc Micklethwaite was accused of “engaging in the pointing of weapons and the pulling of a trigger during role-play in the classroom”, “failing to examine or check the round of ammunition” and discharging the gun “while inadvertently pointing the weapon at Keith Tilbury”. Mr Tilbury, a control room employee for Thames Valley Police Authority, was shot in the stomach at point-blank range while he was listening to a lecture alongside 10 colleagues at the force’s Police Headquarters North in Kidlington. He suffered serious damage to his lungs, kidneys and bowel and spent two weeks in intensive care. Mr Tilbury has told the BBC he is unlikely to return to work.