Thursday, 21 July 2011

Third march for justice in August - article from The Voice

Third march for justice in August
MARCH: The August event will demand an end to deaths in custody

A THIRD march for justice - demanding an end to deaths in custody - will be held next month.
The march, scheduled for August 13, is also being held in memory of 21-year-old Demetre Fraser, who controversially died following police contact on May 31 while living in Moor House in Birmingham.
His heartbroken mum, Jossette Fraser, made a renewed plea last week for the public to come out in their thousands to support the march, which will start at 12 noon at 109 Gibbons Road in Nunhead, south London, where Demetre lived.
Jossette Fraser
“I’d appreciate everybody turning out and supporting the march to let the authorities know we are not sitting back and taking this lightly,” Josette Fraser told The Voice. “This march is not just for Demetre but for all those lost.” She said she also wanted to prevent more deaths in custody.

Jossette Fraser and the IPCC are appealing for witnesses to Demetre’s death to come forward.
Demetre’s case was initially referred to the IPPC on June 1. They referred the case back to West Midlands Police. Following fierce criticism from community campaigners, the IPPC has reversed the decision and will conduct the investigation independently.

Campaigner Lee Jasper has demanded the IPPC “redouble their efforts to encourage witnesses to come forward.”
News of the march coincides with new IPCC statistics showing a rise in the number of deaths following police contract over 2010/2011.

For more information, visit

From the Voice

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

March 4 Justice 4 Demetre Fraser: London, August 13th.

Saturday, August 13 · 12:00pm
Starting at Gibbon Road SE15 onto Evilna Road, turn right into Peckham Rye, bear left onto Rye Lane, at the end turn right onto Peckham Hight Street, then onto Camberwell Green.

Demetre Fraser aka T.Dot 21 years of age from London died after being visited by the West Midlands Police force on the 31st May 2011. The official version of events is that he committed suicide by jumping off a 11th floor balcony. That is heavily disputed and undermined by the fact that neighbours heard a violent struggle and saw evidence of such on the 11th and 8th floors. Please support the Fraser family's call for justice and join this march and the FaceBook campaign page.
Contact: Lee Jasper

More information will be added asap. Please put the date in your diary and spread the word far and wide, on and off the internet.
The official campaign page for Demetre is​ustice4Demetre

IPCC: We need witnesses - Voice article

QUESTIONS: Demetre's mother, pictured here, wants answers about the death of her son

THE POLICE watchdog investigating the suspicious death of a 21-year-old who fell from a tower block following a visit from officers are appealing for witnesses.

Demetre Fraser was under house arrest in Birmingham when he was visited by officers on May 31, 2011, believing he had breached his bail conditions.

He was later found badly injured having fallen from the Moor House tower block in the Druids Heath area.
The young man was taken to Queen Elizabeth Hospital but was pronounced dead at 4pm the same day.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) is now urging any eye witnesses to come forward to help with their ongoing investigation.

Commissioner Rachel Cerfontyne said: "The IPCC will play a vital role in providing answers to the questions Demetre Fraser's family have surrounding his death.

"I intend to oversee a robust investigation and I hope that members of the community have faith in the independence of this investigation. Obviously I am keen that anyone who has information, who saw or heard anything at Moor House on the morning of Tuesday, May 31, to get in touch with us."

Investigators are particularly keen to speak with anyone who was in Moor House at the time of the incident, or anyone who saw or heard anything that will help piece together the circumstances leading up to his death.

The case was initially referred to the IPPC on June 1 who referred the case back to West Midlands Police.

Following fierce criticism from the community, the IPPC has reversed the decision and will conduct the investigation independently.

An inquest into Demetre's death was open and adjourned by the coroner on June 4.
Anyone with information is asked to contact investigators on or call 0800 096 8074.
(First published at


Demetre Fraser: Police forced to investigate death - from OBV

Demetre Fraser: Police forced to investigate death [1.5217391304348]

The Independent Police Complaints Commission have today decided to overturn their initial decision not to investigate the death of Demetre Fraser, a young black man form Peckham south east London. Demetre was reported to have been visited by the West Midlands Police, (WMP) who claimed that he then committed suicide by jumping from the 11th floor of a high rise block of flats in the Druids Heath area of Birmingham.
Initially the IPCC decided that there were not going to investigate the case and had handed the case back to West Midlands Police to complete an internal investigation.

After the establishment of a campaign and a huge demonstration in Birmingham last weekend at which over 1000 people attended, the IPCC have responded to both the level of public concern and the strong evidence that challenges the West Midlands Police official version of events by reopening an IPCC investigation.

Lee Jasper, a spokesperson for the Fraser family welcomed the decision, said
The IPCC missed a golden opportunity to forensically investigate what we believe to be a potential crime scene.
He added

“ This case should have never been handed back to the West Midlands Police service in the beginning. That was a mistake and one that we challenged. The IPCC will now have to check and audit what has been done by the WMP and immediately secure potential evidence’.
Commenting on the lack of confidence of many black communities in the ability of the IPCC to deliver justice he said,

“ The IPCC should be under no illusion. They are handling the three critical cases, Smiley Culture, Kingsley Burrell and now Demetre. There is zero confidence in the wider community that they are able and willing to properly investigate deaths in custody. In the case of Demetre they have already blundered and they have a hell of lot of ground to make up.
We serve notice that these campaigns will be pushing them relentlessly to ensure that we get the truth. There can no cover up in these cases.”

The Fraser family this week conducted an independent post mortem the result of which are expected shortly. They are also set to meet the IPCC this week to discuss the case and their concerns.

OBV Staff reporter

(Published at OBV:

HOW DID MY SON DIE? - from the Southwark News

Jossette and Demetre Fraser

A mother wants the police to ‘front up’ and end the heartache she feels following the mysterious death of her son in Birmingham.
Demetre Fraser, 21, was raised in the Peckham and Nunhead area by Jossette Fraser, but was staying in the Midlands at the end of May when Jossette got the call stating her child was in a critical condition in hospital.

By John Prendergast

For Kingsley Burrell, Smiley Culture and Demetre Fraser: from OBV

Josette Fraser on the March for Justice in Birmingham

The Black community’s history as a people both in here the UK and the wider world can be viewed as a series of on going struggles for equality and freedom. That history is punctuated with critical moments that represent significant and important milestones in our fight for justice and equality.

The ending of slavery, the right to vote, the campaigns for the independence of former British colonies, the civil rights struggle, the ending of the colour bar, the murder of Stephen Lawrence all represent such key moments.

Of late over the last decade marching lost its meaning and with the Public inquiry into the racist murder of Stephen Lawrence many Black activists simply laid down their banners and placards assuming that racism was defeated they went back to their home and families.

In 2011 the tragedy surrounding the deaths of three Black men in close succession, Smiley Culture, Kinsley Burrell and Demetre Fraser has reignited the black community’s passion for justice . Battered by the cuts and thousands of black men and women being made redundant, savage cuts to the black voluntary sector has left us dazed but determined to fight back.

Whilst the twin headed hydra of crime and poverty has unleashed a bloody war among our young people.
Despite this there is something moving within the black community, and I have never seen such anger and outrage. Packed public meetings and passionate demands for justice are the canary’s in the coal mine. Largely unnoticed by the mainstream politicians and the press the black community is returning to its campaigning roots. There is a feeling in the air that compels us to march for justice.

Tired of the constant attack on our culture ,exhausted by the state mis-education of our children, desperate to secure our children’s future, against a backdrop of our communities slipping silently into a social abyss as a result of consecutive Governments neglect, we are now awaking from our slumber to take to the streets.
Saturday 2nd July 2011 the city of Birmingham saw unprecedented scenes as the city that is now the black deaths in custody capital of the UK came to a standstill. Over 1000 people gathered from around the country to march in support of the Kingsley Burrell Campaign for Justice. Kingsley died after being forcibly arrested by the West Midlands Police earlier this year.

The march was vibrant and dynamic. We were led by a sound system pumping out revolutionary reggae anthems. There were families with children and a broad range of campaigns representing a number of Asian and white communities who joined the march in solidarity. It was a fatalistic sight made more glorious by the wonderful sunshine and the myriad of red, gold and green banners and flags.

We made our way from Hockley, Kingsley’s family home to the HQ of the West Midlands Police in the centre of town. Half way through the march the Sikh Gudwara on Soho Road in a touching gesture of solidarity provided refreshment to the marchers as we passed their temple.

When the police started to try and kettle our march we immediately sat down and occupied the road determined to stay there until the police backed off. They did so and we continued with our march.

We brought Birmingham came to a complete standstill as we marched and chanted for justice. There were speeches at the HQ of the West Midland Police from all the family campaigns who spoke eloquently and with a searing pain that left and indelible mark on all who heard their testimony.

We committed ourselves to the long hard road to justice recognizing the challenge and the difficulty we were no less inspired. We have had virtually no real press coverage of this hugely successful march the media black out was almost total. But go and look on Facebbok to witness what happened for yourself and what you will see will amaze you.

The Black community now sees itself self in a fight for its very survival. Saturday we marched for justice and tomorrow we march for peace aimed at stopping the madness of youth violence. We march today in order to secure our future.

As the mother of Demetre Fraser told the marchers at the rally,
“I looked at the papers when Kingsley died and I felt for his mother. I put the paper down and decided to do nothing about it. Yesterday its was Kingsley, before that Smiley today its Demetre and I am that mother. Tomorrow it could be you”

Why are we marching again? Because justice demands it, our history dictates we must, it’s in our political DNA and our future that we do so. The mainstream press and politicians don’t get it but they never do. The marching season is back in fashion and poor black and white communities are taking to the streets demanding justice.

Lee Jasper

(First published at OBV: Operation Black Vote )

'Today it's my child. Tomorrow it could be yours,' says mum (Voice Article)

THE HEARTBROKEN mother of a young man who fell to his death from a tower block during a police visit is urging the black community to protest against deaths in custody tomorrow (July 2).
Jossette Fraser, mother of Demetre Fraser, who died on May 31, will be among those leading the March for Justice rally planned for Saturday.
The demonstration will start in Hockley, Birmingham, and is aimed at highlighting the spate of black men who have died in police custody recently.
Fraser will be joined by the families of reggae singer Smiley Culture and father of two Kingsley Burrell both of whom died on March 15 and March 27, respectively in suspicious circumstances following "contact" with police.
Ms Fraser told The Voice: "Yesterday, it was for one mother, today it was for me. Tomorrow, it could be for you. Just try to remember that. It is time to stand up right now because everyone knows someone who knows someone that has died suspiciously, been beaten, wrongfully arrested or wrongfully charged at the hands of the police. We have to change the law.”
The March for Justice is part of an ongoing campaign for a public enquiry into deaths in custody and to pressure the Government to change the legislation.
Fraser, who will speak at the event, added: “My son is not the only one. There are other mothers who have lost children. I want to unite with them. They say united we will stand and divided we shall fall. I want us all to now unite.”
West Midlands Police claim they found Demetre Fraser’s body at the foot of the tower block when they came to speak with him about a reported breach of his curfew conditions.
The 21-year-old from Nunhead, south London, was living in Birmingham temporarily while on bail charged with petty assault on his girlfriend, a charge she later withdrew.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “We can confirm that the IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) was informed on June 1 about the death of a 21-year-old man from Druids Heath in south Birmingham whose body was found at the foot of the tower block in which he lived. The discovery was made after officers had visited the address in an attempt to speak to the man about his alleged breach of court-imposed curfew conditions.”
Demetre’s mother has rejected their explanation of events surrounding her son’s death. She said neighbours told her they overheard a huge commotion on the morning Demetre died.
“I don’t believe they found him at the bottom,” she said.
The mother added her son was a happy young man, who had never been depressed and had plans to go back to college and do something positive with his life.
“He had so much plans…so why would he commit suicide? I am so shocked. I am so heartbroken… I feel so much pain. I have already had to bury one son. My first baby was a cot death and that alone was so much pain and this was the second boy to come along. Now they have just come and taken him.
"They have cut his life so short. He only just turned 21. He was just beginning his life. I just want them to tell me what happened to my boy that morning. All I want to know is the truth of what happened.”
His family has been in contact with a lawyer in a bid to get justice and is demanding that the two officers present be immediately suspended.
The IPCC has since referred the matter back to West Midlands Police’s Professional Standards Department who will carry out an internal inquiry.

Published 01 July 2011  at