Hundreds of protesters demand justice for Child Q outside London police station

Crowds gathered at Stoke Newington Police Station in north-east London on Friday afternoon.

Rebecca Speare-Cole
Friday 18 March 2022 21:25
People demonstrate outside Stoke Newington Police Station in London over the treatment of a black 15-year-old schoolgirl who was strip-searched by police while on her period (PA)
People demonstrate outside Stoke Newington Police Station in London over the treatment of a black 15-year-old schoolgirl who was strip-searched by police while on her period (PA)

Hundreds of protesters have demanded justice for a black teenage girl who was strip-searched at school by police.

The 15-year-old, known as Child Q, was searched by Metropolitan Police officers – who knew she was menstruating – without another adult present, according to a safeguarding report.

In response to the revelations, a crowd gathered at Stoke Newington Police Station in north-east London on Friday afternoon for a protest organised by Hackney Cop Watch.

A woman holds a sign saying: “No to racist police. Justice for Child Q” (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Protesters could be heard chanting “no justice, no peace, abolish the police” and “racist cops, out of schools”.

They also held up signs reading “no to racist police, justice for Child Q” and “we say no to police in schools”, as well as Black Lives Matter banners.

They also chanted “shame on you” at officers outside the station, footage on social media showed.

A protester from Catcalls of London, an Instagram-based awareness group, wrote messages in multi-coloured chalk on the pavement, with one reading: “Dearest Child Q, the systems designed to protect you failed you.

People demonstrate outside Stoke Newington Police Station (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

“We see you. We stand here for you. We are with you.”

Jessica Klingler, co-founder of Reclaim The Streets, which organised the Clapham Common vigil for Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and murdered by a serving Met police officer last March, was at the protest.

Ms Klinger said she was outside the station when she learned Scotland Yard will appeal a High Court ruling that it breached the vigil organisers’ rights with its handling of the event.

“I’m not going to pretend I am not furious,” she tweeted.

People demonstrate outside Stoke Newington Police Station (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

She added: “They want us to give up. They want to exhaust us. F*** that. Learn the law.”

Child Q is now taking civil action against the Met and her school, law firm Bhatt Murphy said.

She is acting to obtain “cast-iron commitments to ensure this never happens again to any other child”.

Schoolgirls attend the protest outside Stoke Newington Police Station (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The case has drawn outrage from politicians and the public, with London mayor Sadiq Khan sharing his “dismay and disgust” and equalities minister Kemi Badenoch calling it “appalling”.

Further protests are planned over the weekend in London, Glasgow and Cardiff ahead of the UN Anti-Racism Day on March 21.

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