The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has referred the Met police to the Crown Prosecution Service over their officers’ sharing of photos of murdered sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman that we reported on in early summer.
The sisters were killed in June and the police, despite requests from the family, refused to lift a finger to search for them when they failed to return from an outing to Fryent Park, Wembley, west London.
It was left to one of the boyfriends of the sister to go looking for them and to find the body.
Not only did the police not bother to search for the sisters, presumably because it was only two Black women, but when the bodies were found and they were forced to start a murder investigation they thought it would be amusing to pass around in a WhatsApp group the photos of the bodies of the deceased sisters.
Sharing photos of murdered sisters shows racist depravity of police
The appalling level of depravity and dehumanisation that this sort of behaviour requires is a shocking indictment of the institutional racism that blights the Met police in London.
Two police officer have since been arrested and altogether 13 police officers are under investigation.
The arrests took place on 11 June with the officers charged on suspicion of misconduct in a public office. They have been suspended from duties but are still on full pay.
When this case gets to court, we expect there to be prison sentences handed out. If there are not, there will be hell to pay, to put it mildly.
The IOPC has also made two recommendations to the Met:
- To ensure officers “within a single police station in the North East Command” conform to the expectations of their behaviour under the Code of Ethics both on and off duty.
- The Met must review whether supervisors and senior management at that police station “are taking personal responsibility to identify and eliminate patterns of inappropriate behaviour”.
As with so many recommendations concerning matters regarding London’s racist police force, nothing much will come of the IOPC’s strictures unless there are militant protests on the streets, as seen during the upsurge of around BLM in the summer.
We will need to be ready to hit the streets again to demand justice for Nicole and Bibaa.