Kill the bill again.

Hi. It’s good to catch up as always and wow. It’s been nearly a month since I picked up this blog of mine. I need to start writing a lot more than I am at present that’s for sure. But you know something? I and procrastination are old friends. Today, it’s nice to shake off the writing excuses. At the moment I’m dealing with another wave of trauma from police contact and grief of losing my dad. It is a wave it crashes on the shore. It started last night, and I’ll tell you how because I trust you and know it’ll go no further than you and me.

I’ve been playing an early-access game on my PC called Sons of the Forest. My fellow special forces survivor Kalvin became expandable and I killed him brutally for yet again cowering in fear following an attack by a giant cannibal. I hope by this point you are laughing because I am. What triggered me was what happened next. We had made friends with a woman who had made friends with both of us. With no spoilers attached, she’s far from normal but had visited our mini home regularly. I even saw her whispering to him and she gave us food.

When I killed Kalvin in the game she was watching at distance she walked over slowly and brought some aloe vera leaves that she placed gently by his body. She then broke down and sobbed by his body. I actually paused and just went “Wow” I felt bad. I had murdered her friend.

And then of course I navigated my own grief. Dad arrived sudden and out the blue but always beautiful. At this point I should say I do have a therapist and she’s lovely I haven’t seen her for a few weeks now but I’m about to send her an email. In the meantime, as therapy goes this will have to do.

Grief and trauma are powerful emotions that we all go through and learn to navigate. I spent a long time believing I could lock them away. These days I love and respect myself and know that they need a voice. Police in particular are rarely accountable for the trauma they create.

I wanted to share some of my speech with you today that I read at the Last Kill The Bill 2 march and demonstration outside Bridewell Police Station in Bristol. I’m writing a book about my misspent youth (not all of it was bad and I have very beautiful memories and loving parents)and my journey into martial arts and how it helped me turn my life around. It’s called “The Last of the good guys”. My drama teacher smiling at the time called me that in my last ever lesson in secondary school in the 5th year. Anyway here’s that speech, it’s quite long so is abridged. After this, I’m hitting the gym to take it out on the bags and not the cops.

We’ve never got on – KTB Bridewell Anniversary speech.

“From my teens to my late 20s I was stopped and searched routinely by Hampshire Police. Before I broke any law, I was racially profiled. At one point being stopped and searched was nearly a daily occurrence. Nearly every day. Over 15 years on that still resonates.  Over 15 years on I still struggle to forgive myself for ruining my life all those years ago.  I used to have a drug problem. I used to be a drug dealer. In the end, I broke the cycle and healed my life. I changed myself. Not the police, state, or punitive punishment.

 Not disproportionate stop and search. Not incarceration. But me. Because I got tired of hurting those I cared about the most. I got tired of being angry and hurting and never healing. Of saying “I’m fine” when I was in pieces inside and no one understood, and everyone lectured me and the police judged me. They put me in a box that said, “wants to be bad” and for a while I did. In the end, I learned the hard way. So many of us do. I was never any good at breaking the law.

If I’ve taken away one thing from those years, it’s that even “bloody criminals” especially the black and brown boys have rights. We have journeys that we never wanted to make. We have labels the police give us that stay with us for life. When the police were in my life it was never ending and when they weren’t it felt like liberation…

Towards the end

“As the founding member of an independent grassroots police monitoring group, it’s fair to say that over the past few years of our existence, we have seen numerous cases of abuse of power. We have witnessed the machinery of the state in action! We understand the damage the criminal justice system and the police can do to people’s lives. I know the pain of being labeled a criminal. Someone who will never change. But you know something? I did change. And I changed for me and never the police!

Far too many of us are lost in the system without the help and support we need. Far too many of us lose faith that we will ever see justice and so many of us have lost all faith in the police themselves. The brutality of 2021 showed us the nature of revenge policing. It showed us that our communities are nothing more than a containment operation to a force that continues to militarise itself with ARV patrols, that risk scores and assesses us as numbers,  and fails to respond to community needs!

If the past few years have shown us one thing it’s that when we stand together we are a force to be reckoned with and with the outright damning Casey report on the Metropolitan Police it is clear that when all is said and done, all we really have is each other. This year, make sure you leave no one behind! Check in with that person being stopped and searched, and challenge police violence if you see it in action! Film the police, and help your community take action against misconduct. Bristol Copwatch is all of us. This year let’s show the police what time it is! Fight for your rights and as I always say, always stand up to your bullies!”

Thanks for hearing my strong voice. Remember to kill the bill. I’ll see you on that road. #amwriting


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