Deaths of blacks in police custody: a black british perspective of over 50 years of police racial injustices in the United Kingdom

Keywords: race, racism, police, deaths, custody, accountability, social justice


On 25 May 2020, the death of an unknown Blackman named George Floyd in the Minneapolis United States has led to a wave of global protests worldwide. The United Kingdom was not left out of these protests. The deaths of black people in police custody are not a new unfortunate phenomenon in the United Kingdom. The author looks at some of these deaths in the United Kingdom from a historical perspective, relying on both racial typologies theorists on one side and the responses, provided by Afrocentric theorists on race over time, on the other side. The author relies on several case studies of black deaths and secondary sources, arguing that racism can be held responsible for most of these killings by the police. The research findings are encapsulated in the trio unfortunate incidents of slavery, colonialism, and apartheid. These incidences have metamorphosed over time, becoming a social stigma black people wear from cradle to grave. The author suggests that police officers who murder black people and hide behind the wearing of uniforms should not be given immunity from justice. The author debunks the myth, suggesting that the life of a black person is often portrayed as worthless by whites folks. More findings are that both black lives and every human being's lives matter with great intrinsic value. No life must be wasted under the guise of policing. The right to life unarguably remains the most fundamental human right, which the state must protect at all times. Without the protection of life, all other fundamental human rights become meaningless.


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Author Biography

Shaka Yesufu, University of Limpopo

Department of Research and Development


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How to Cite
Yesufu, S. (2021). Deaths of blacks in police custody: a black british perspective of over 50 years of police racial injustices in the United Kingdom. EUREKA: Social and Humanities, (4), 33-45.
Social Sciences