NS April 9th, 2009
Excuse my language but what the FUCK is wrong with this picture?
Police at the G20 protest last week hit from behind and then pushed to the ground an unarmed, (what appeared to be) non-aggressive man who later had a heart attack and died. While this is unacceptable behaviour, no matter what the man may have been doing or saying, it has not been established yet if there was a link between the incident and the man’s death. The public, however, are already baying for the police commisioner’s head on a stick and demanding an independent inquiry, the officers involved sacked and possibly even charged with manslaughter.
Forgive me if this sounds insensitive, but I’m more than a little pissed off at all of this outrage being expressed over a man being pushed down when virtually NONE was expressed over the repeated failures of the police to investigate and link together the dozens, if not hundreds, of sexual assaults and rapes perpetrated by John Worboys, the Black Cab Rapist (finally) convicted last month, despite remarkably telltale signs of a single, serial predator. The gross negligence of duty and care, the indifference shown towards sexual assault victims and the unwillingess of the Met to punish anyone internally for the mistakes and blunders that led to a rapist remaining free to attack for nearly five years is utterly appalling and a telling commentary on how the police (and society as a whole) view rape and its prosecution.
Yes, this man died after being pushed over by police and that’s horrible and should be investigated thoroughly. I’m not taking away from his family’s suffering or the seriousness of the issues it highlights. But where were those infuriated voices and calls for inquiries when it was discovered how badly the police, the very “Sapphire Units” meant to catch and prosecute sexual predators, handled the Worboys investigation, if they initiated one at all? If not for the one officer who put two and two together after reading the victims’ reports, which were remarkably similar, Worboys would likely still be preying on women in the streets of London today.
I could’ve been one of those women. Your sister or friend could’ve been one of those women. You could’ve been one of those women. The Worboys case should’ve raised public consciousness of the seriousness of rape and initiated a massive investigation into how we view, handle and prosecute it. Were campaigns launched and did heads roll? No. What we got was more silence, or at best a few admonishments towards women about taking cabs alone and on accepting drinks from strangers, putting the onus back on us – US! – to watch our backs and prevent rape from happening. Let me just get my How Not To Get Raped Checklist in order:
It’s so complicated and exhausting, all these rules we have to follow in order to ward off rape. Wouldn’t it be easier if men just followed the only two they need to know?
Seems pretty simple to me.
Next week: outrage over people who don’t spay and neuter their pets; nothing about domestic violence.