Man dies during police operation

February 2, 2006

Written by Harmit Athwal

The Somali community in the Woolwich area is in deep shock after the death of a 22-year-old Somali, Nuur Saeed, after an ‘operation’ by Woolwich police.

The police say that on 10 January Nuur was in a house at which they executed a search warrant in Plumstead. ‘At 5pm Mr Saeed was found to be suffering from head injuries on the ground below the balcony of the second floor premises’, according to a police statement. He was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance and later transferred to Kings College Hospital where he died on 24 January from complications arising from massive brain injury.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (the organisation which investigates deaths in police custody) is now conducting an independent investigation into the death that is being overseen by the IPPC’s deputy chair John Wadham.

Although the facts of Nuur’s death have yet to be established, local community members allege a recent state of siege in which the police have been harassing young Somali men following the murder in Bradford of PC Beshenivsky. (Her alleged attackers are of Somali origin and from the Woolwich area.)

Asad Hussain of the Justice for Nuur campaign told IRR News: ‘Nuur was a normal, straight young boy. His home was raided by police officers from Plumstead police station and he was taken unconscious from his home. How could such a tragedy happen? The police clam that they had no physical contact but we need to know what took place.’

The Justice for Nuur campaign is demanding:

  • An independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Nuur’s death to establish the exact events of 10 January
  • No police cover-up
  • Police officers involved be suspended from duty
  • An immediate and independent investigation into Woolwich police’s harassment of young men, especially those from the Somali community

The family and friends of Nuur Saeed will be holding a picket of Plumstead police station on 4 February 2006.

Related links

Black deaths in police, prison and psychiatric custody since 1978

INQUEST

United Families and Friends Campaign

Injustice – a film by Migrant Media

Justice for Nuur Campaign: Hassan Ali - 07939 231 905 or Asad Hussain - 07723 078 194. Email: justicefornuurcampaign@googlemail.com.

The Institute of Race Relations is precluded from expressing a corporate view: any opinions expressed are therefore those of the authors.

Comments

February 17, 2006
precluded from revealing indentity:

Plumstead police would never let themselves be caught out by an investigation. The criminal justice system does not work if the perpetrator work for it. Let’s not picket the police station, but open fire on it instead.

April 11, 2006
Paul Okafor:

Progress will be made when those in the black and ethnic minority community stop trying to ‘build confidence’ in the criminal justice system. More dangerous than the police are the IPPC and the opportunists like the Trevor Philips’ and Dianne Abbott’s of this world, who try to convince us we are dealing with a small minority of ‘bad apples’. Deaths in custody continue under this racist Labour government, not only of blacks and asians but also of asylum seekers and refugees.

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