No apology will ever be enough for me to forgive the police for what they did to Child Q

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No apology will ever be enough for me to forgive the police for what they did to Child Q

I felt sick to my stomach reading the details (Picture: Getty Images/EyeEm)

the latest tech news, global tech news daily, tech news today, startups, usa tech, asia tech, china tech, eu tech, global tech, in-depth electronics reviews, 24h tech news, 24h tech news, top mobile apps, tech news daily, gaming hardware, big tech news, useful technology tips, expert interviews, reporting on the business of technology, venture capital funding, programing language

‘I smell cannabis’ – how many times have these three words been used to traumatise and dehumanise Black children and adults? Too many.   

The latest instance of racism within the Metropolitan Police exposed that a Black schoolgirl was strip searched by officers while on her period, after she was wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis.   

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This latest abuse cuts deep. It is a throwback to slavery, and even more recently to my parents’ generation where racists and racist police officers tried to break them by humiliating them.  

The details are hard to comprehend – I felt sick to my stomach reading them and have since found it difficult to sleep. 

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According to the report, after 15-year-old ‘Child Q’ was made by officers to strip naked, she was made to bend over and spread her legs and use her hands to spread her buttock cheeks while coughing. 

If this doesn’t send a chill down you, then the additional fact that she was menstruating should. 

The police officers had no care, no compassion, no sympathy, as they made her take off her period pad. 

That would not be out of place in any storyline on slavery. 

After this abuse took place, the police would not even let her go to the toilet to clean up and they reportedly made her re-use the same pad. 

There is something wrong with you if this doesn’t make you sick to your stomach. 

The case is incredibly horrifying, and I am clear that the officers must be immediately dismissed. 
If they are not dismissed already, then we must again ask what Cressida Dick is thinking.  

No child deserves to be abused and humiliated in this way

I would also like to know what WhatsApp group they belonged to and what content is on it. 

I am curious about the conversation in the squad car afterwards with the two female officers who carried out the search and their two male colleagues  – were they proud of their actions? This I suppose we will never know. 

According to the safeguarding report, the search on the girl took place at the girl’s school in Hackney, without an appropriate adult present. 

How did staff allow this to happen in their school? Those teachers also need to be dismissed because while children are in school, teachers are legally in loco parentis.  

If they did not understand that this was a violation of a girl then they have no business being a teacher. 

No child deserves to be abused and humiliated in this way. None of the teachers I know in Brent would have allowed this to happen.  

Another question is why the Met Police officers proceeded without an adult present. 

The same report concluded the search was unjustified and that racism was ‘likely’ an influencing factor. 

No apology will ever be enough for me to forgive the police for what they did to Child Q

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick (Picture: PA)

That’s ironic considering that today the Government put up Kemi Badenoch to launch an action plan in response to their race report that claims that institutional racism is not a factor in the UK. 

However, when I read the details of what happened, I will say for sure that racism is not just an influencing factor but a key driver of this behaviour. 

This was undoubtedly a racist incident. Emboldened by structural racism in institutions that need immense overhaul. 

Time and time again we talk about the detrimental and disturbing effects of stop and search, how it mentally breaks young people down and makes them feel like they are less than human.  When traumatic incidents such as this happen, often young people will then act out in certain ways. They might be more disruptive, more repressive, or they might try and bully someone else because they have been bullied or abused themselves.  When you have adults in positions of trust working together to dehumanise a young Black girl, it is abhorrent. To think those adults allowed a young girl on her period to be physically and mentally abused, shows there is something deeply wrong about much of our education and police systems.  
Frankly, this was sanctioned abuse by adults who are supposed to protect children.

No apology will ever be enough for me to forgive the police for what they did to Child Q

To Child Q I say: Scream, shout and cry – I did when I read your trauma, but please don’t give up (Picture: Getty/

That is why no apology is sufficient in this case, only immediate dismissals. If we are going to try and build trust in our police service and our education system, then we need to act now.
This young survivor will likely be traumatised for the rest of her life.  

It has already been reported that family members have noted her change from a ‘happy-go-lucky girl to a timid recluse that hardly speaks’. She was abused by the very system that is supposed to be there to protect her.  If this latest example doesn’t make people finally realise exactly why the Black Lives Matter movement is so essential, why we talk about racism in education, or why there is structural racism in police service, then nothing will. 
Scotland Yard issued an apology and admitted the incident ‘should never have happened’. But when incidents keep happening with no change – for example the disgraceful racist conduct of police following the brutal murders of Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman – then it makes the apology meaningless. 

No apology will ever be enough for me to forgive the police for what they did to Child Q

Bibaa Henry (left) and Nicole Smallman (Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire Photographer)

Black people are being abused and mistreated every day – we are forced to deal with crime in a different way, unable to call the police and have faith that we will be treated fairly and with respect by officers coming to ‘protect’ us.   

I called for Cressida Dick to step down for the Met’s repeated and serious institutional failings under her leadership, and this is yet another shocking case on her watch. 
It has been reported that Cressida Dick may yet receive a £500,000 pay off after resigning her post. Many people will rightly wonder how this can be justified based on the Met’s performance under her leadership.

I would therefore like to make an appeal to her: Please don’t ask for this money – instead ask for this cash to be redirected towards police training programmes, so that we can tackle institutional racism, misogyny and other serious failings.

You will still be entitled to a healthy pension, but at least you can leave with one positive outcome.
Dick’s departure should be an opportunity to rid the Met of this toxic culture, but these problems are institutional, and nothing will change unless her replacement is fully committed to serious, systemic and cultural reform, dismissing the bad apples – and to building trust. 

Home Secretary Priti Patel must seek the approval of London MPs as well as the London Mayor before any appointments are confirmed. 

To all of the great teachers and police officers out there: Please help us help you – we need to work together to rid those in the ranks that discriminate, dehumanise and destroy. 

We urgently need to create a system that both police and all London’s diverse communities are confident in.

For that to happen, incidents like this and the wider dehumanisation of our children must stop, and so must constant physical and mental abuse.

That must start with dismissals, not apologies. 

My last words go directly to Child Q, who says ‘I can’t go a single day without wanting to scream, shout, cry or just give up’. I urge you to scream, shout and cry – I did when I read your trauma, but please don’t give up. 

Reach out, there are many of us who you may never meet who are willing you to succeed and flourish, to blossom into a wonderful powerful Black woman. 

And if you call on us, we will be there to lift you up and amplify your light.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing 

Share your views in the comments below.

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