Saturday, September 03, 2011

IPCC gently tuts at Met over Smiley Culture death

The Independent Police Complaints Commission, the body set up to pretend to investigate complaints against the police, has announced its decision on the death of Smiley Culture. The Guardian reports:

In a confidential letter to the singer's family, Mike Franklin, commissioner of the IPCC, said: "The [IPCC] investigation has identified aspects of the operation which were not satisfactory, and criticisms have been made of some of the officer's actions. However, these do not meet the threshold for misconduct under the police misconduct system."
But, hey, the Met really feels the sting of that slightly disappointed tone of voice. Smiley's daughter, Shanice McConnachie, is only seventeen years old, but can see that there's a few gaping holes in the IPCC decision:
"Whatever went wrong and led to my dad's death, it's the officers's fault for not doing their job properly. My dad was in their care. "Their story just doesn't add up and until it does, I can't believe that my dad killed himself, " she added. 
"My dad was under arrest and had an officer specifically allocated to his care. How could he walk around the kitchen and grab hold of a knife, without that officer seeing? And why would he? Even the police who were there admit he had been completely calm and cooperative up until that point." 
"After he was stabbed, why did they police handcuff him? Our pathologist's report says he would have died almost instantly," she asked. "The police should have been focused on keeping his bleeding to a minimum and calling an ambulance. The IPCC and police don't seem to care about helping us get to the truth of what really went on."
None of the survivors of what happened in the kitchen that day - all of whom are police - have been formally interviewed. As a result, the IPCC admits that it doesn't really have a clue about what happened:
The four officers have given voluntary accounts of what happened, but Franklin admitted these did little to clear up the mystery.
It's looking increasingly like we're going to need an independent body to investigate how the IPCC carries out its investigations.