In which the police do nothing but endanger a survivor

The police have been watching Youtube, and spotted a video of a young man being homophobically abused by a self-styled “Muslim patrol”. In their keenness to prosecute, they have done something unforgivably awful. The man who received the abuse has not come forward, so the police have released his picture in an attempt to get him to do so.

This is vile behaviour on a number of levels. There is absolutely no respect for the man’s decision not to come forward, a decision which many survivors of many crimes of structural violence make. These decisions are often made for good reasons: the police are pretty fucking awful on taking such crimes seriously for the most part, and as a result, many people who experience oppression mistrust the police. Maybe the man who has had his picture out there did not trust the police to treat what happened to him sensitively or effectively, and the benefits of engaging with the police vastly outweighed the costs.

This is further exacerbated by the fact that the police actively harm and harass people who are already on the receiving end of a whole heap of structural violence. The police are just another gang of oppressors, albeit worse-dressed. I doubt putting this man’s pictures everywhere is going to endear the police to him, when it strikes me that this is nothing more than another form of using their power to harass.

And what if the man was not out? What if he wanted to remain anonymous for the simple fact that nobody knew of his sexual orientation and he preferred it that way? What if he has good reasons for not being out–such as not wanting to be on the receiving end of further violence? What if the police just outed someone because they felt that whatever they’re trying to do is more important than respecting this person’s privacy?

What the police have done here is betray a staggering lack of respect for the private life of an individual they are disingenuously pretending to be helping. A part of me hopes that this was simply that they didn’t think things through, because the alternative is too grim to consider. Did they do this, knowing how dangerous it would be for the man in the picture, in the hope of ratcheting up the abuse and forcing him to come forward?

What they have done here is demonstrate, once again, whose side they are on. It is not the side of survivors, but their own side, and they’ll shit all over survivors to get what they want.

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5 responses to “In which the police do nothing but endanger a survivor

  • Kate Middleton

    I reported Doctor Deenesh Khoosal to the police for sexually assaulting me and bullying me into a suicide attempt in my study at Radley College in 1982 as a question of social responsiblity. The sexual assault was committed in the Warneford madhouse on 25/11/82 and I have a doctors commentary on his notes on my blog.

    My report, on 26th March 2007 was made after visiting Russell Reid at the GMC who told me Khoosal is gay. Khoosal took up so -called “gender reassignment” after committing a criminal offence against me as a child and is still working with kids.

    The police identifed me as a “vulnerable witness” the first day and the following day threatened me with arrest and bullied me into a suicidal state while seeking protection from my parents under the Protection from Harassment Act 1997.

    The threats took place in front of two witnesses outside Portswood Police station and my fiance Simon emailed them to say that he had been very worried that I was going to commit suicide as I had made several attempts in the past because of mistreatment by my parents.

    It took six months before I had recovered sufficiently to complain and the CID sent Kath Barnes and her mate round to bully me into a “local resolution”.

    Professional Standards put in writing that rape victims in Southampton get Sargeant White with his “dismissive nature” and “Gestapo coat” coming round to see them. I explained to this arrogant and stupid character that the police had broken the law in passing around details of my medical history without consent and he replied complacently, “we don’t know anything about that”. No action was taken against any of those involved.

    The police did the same to an 18 year old who had been been raped within a few months who committed suicide. You will note Kath Barnes is quoted in the following article saying Sarah Clark was properly treated. The rapist got away with it because the chief witness was dead:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-459918/Death-leap-girl-said-police-doubted-rape-claim.html

    I have a video here on my dealings with the police

  • Ginger Drage (@Safarazzz)

    I can’t help but feel that if the people harrasing this man were white and not Muslim their reaction would have been very different

    • linkshund (@linkshund)

      That’s exactly what I thought. The fact they’re so keen to get the abusers without actually giving a shit about the bloke they were abusing says a lot. I wouldn’t be surprised if it had more to do with stopping MUSLIM PATROLS than it ever did with protecting people from homophobia,

  • boomer

    I like Muslims. I really do believe they are incredibly misunderstood. People think they’re so intolerant and hateful but they have a long and very proud history of assimilation into surrounding cultures and a strong ethical basis in pluralism – one of the most telling examples of which is the fact that some of the oldest and most minority-based forms of both Judaism and Christianity have survived and thrived in Muslim countries. Instances like this dismay and depress me because they present Islamism (as in a form of nationalism) not Islam, to a world which (quite reasonably) assumes this crap must be reflective of the majority at large. It’s just sad.

    Anyway, I strongly support this blog post. Thought exactly the same. Also, I might be in the minority here which is cool but I really admired that guy and the way he laughed them off. That’s not to say I wasn’t outraged by the way he was spoken to but I infinitely respect him for seeming to not give a fuck. Did he not give one, though, and might he have felt suitably intimidated and harassed enough to not want to walk that path again? Therein lies the most important question to my mind. I’m all for acceptance and pluralism, too. In fact, I think that’s something Western secularism has achieved the most and most successfully in and in that spirit then the most obvious solution here, to my mind anyway, is for the police to not after-the-fact deal with shit, not hunt down, or demand witnesses, but to drag their tax-payer funded behinds into these areas and make the message clear that in this country, Western secularism is the law. I understand and more than notionally support the anarchist view but if we have to have them then this seems to be amongst the most obvious functions for them to fulfill. Other than that, I really can’t with them most of the time – just largely pissing useless.

  • Lady Andrea

    I had a meeting with the police force dealing with this case, regarding the issue you raised (amongst other things).
    I cannot speak for them and there is a lot from this meeting I cannot say but what I can say is this: they only issue photos of either victims and/or suspects once every other avenue has been explored. It was not a decision taken lightly.
    Another thing to bare in mind is if this victim didnt come forward, the CPS would not follow up and no prosecution would come of it.
    In short: they needed the victim to come forward to be able to press charges against these homophobic animals who are tarnishing our community.
    I hope this has brought some perspective into things.

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