A system which allows police violence leading to death and serious injury to go unpunished is indefensible and sends a clear message that police crime will never be subject to the full force of the law.
Given the abysmal failure of the responsible authorities to ensure police accountability and justice for the bereaved, these issues have been brought to light only by the strength and tenacity of the O'Brien and Lapite families.
The Home Secretary should use this opportunity to initiate an independent, public inquiry into the entire process of investigation following deaths in police custody to examine the role of the police, the Police Complaints Authority, the Coroner's inquest system and the Crown Prosecution Service. Without this, public confidence in the police can never be restored.
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