Demetre Fraser: Outrage at new death in police custody

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The startling development the tragedy of Black male deaths in police custody continues after yet another black man ends up dead after contact with the West Midlands Police.

Demetre Fraser a 21 year old black man is from Peckham south east London and represents the second highly suspicious death in the custody and care of West Midlands Police force following on from the controversial death of Kingsley Burrell. The recent deaths in police custody of Smiley Culture aka David Emmanuel, Kingsley Burrell and now Demetre will inflame police community tensions, already stretched to breaking point.

Demetre was temporarily staying in Birmingham's Druids Heath area. He was on bail as a result of a petty assault charge after a dispute with his girlfriend. That compliant was subsequently withdrawn. His bail conditions were that he was to reside outside of London and on the 31st May at around 9 am West Midlands Police visited Demetre for what should have been a simple routine tag check. He was outside of his curfew time and there was no requirement for him to be home at that time.

The official version of events is that during the visit from two West Midlands Police officers Demetre committed suicide by jumping from the 11th floor of the high-rise block where he was staying temporarily.

His mother Ms Jossette Fraser who says that neighbours reported to her that they heard a huge commotion on the morning Demetre died, and that there is clear evidence of a desperate struggle taking place on the 11th and 8th floor rubbishes that version of events.

Ms Fraser said; "I received the call from the Police that my son was in hospital and immediately rushed to Birmingham within the hour of my arrival my son had died in theatre. I am beside myself with grief and have had to have medication from my doctor to cope.

They are trying to tell me my son jumped off an 11th floor balcony and killed himself. Why? His girlfriend had withdrawn the charge against him and he knew that. He was waiting for the Crown Prosecution Service or the Police to formally tell him so he could come home to Peckham.

He was reunited with his girl and looking forward to coming home and his friends spoke to him every day. My boy was happy and was just waiting for the charges to be dropped so he could come home."

She added; "My family and Demetre friends are all in a state of deep shock and disbelief. His girlfriend is beside herself and we are demanding that West Midlands Police immediately suspend the two officers concerned whilst we get to the bottom of what actually happened.

"The idea that my son committed suicide is some sort of sick joke. Black men are not safe in Police custody Demetre, Smiley Culture and Kingsley Burrell proves that.

My son was popular and well known in Peckham he was a very pleasant young man. Everybody who met him liked him. It is clear from what I have been told that the Police and my son were involved in a violent struggle that led to his death. His body shows no obvious signs of having dropped 11 floors and there are huge contradictions in what the police say happened and what local neighbours say they heard and saw."

The case had been referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission who has bizarrely referred the matter back to West Midlands Police. That will result in the police investigating the police which is entirely unacceptable.

A national march organized by the family of Kingsley Burrell and planned to take in Birmingham on the 2nd of July, the Demetre family will be in attendance and plan to speak at the demonstration.

Demetre's mother said; "I cannot rest until I get justice for my son and I appeal to everyone to support the demonstration and help us get justice for Demetre, Smiley Culture and Kingsley."

Maxi Hayles from Birmingham Racial Attacks Monitoring Unit who recently lost all their funding and are running solely on volunteer effort expressed the outrage and frustration of the local community.

"The black community is outraged that yet another young black man has died at the hands of the West Midland Police force. They need to immediately suspend the officers involved in Demetre's case. We have just lost Smiley then Kingsley Burrell and now within weeks this young man.

How much more can we take? The West Midlands Police is out of control and we are reliving the worst days of the 1980's all over again."

Supportors for the family said;"We have a real problem with West Midlands Police force. Black men are not safe in their hands and what happened to Demetre follows a consistent pattern. Black man gets arrested in Birmingham, black men dies in suspicious circumstances, no one is held to account no one is found guilty. Black life seems cheap in Birmingham.

The IPCC have got this completely wrong and should not allow the West Midlands police to investigate themselves. The West Midlands Police Authority should insist on an IPCC supervised investigation.

In truth we need a public inquiry into all suspicious deaths in custody as called for by the Smiley Culture and Kingsley Burrell campaigns. There is a real crisis of confidence and black community police relations are severely strained. No one believes the police, no one has any confidence in them, and no one trusts them. Black deaths in custody has become a national scandal and the march on the 2nd July is our opportunity to demonstrate that we will not simply sit back and watch racist police officers act with impunity".

The family are asking for public support at the funeral of Demetre. The family plans to walk from the family home in Southwark to the cemetery.

Mourners are asked to gather at Barville Close, London SE4 at 9.00am on the 4th July to accompany the body of Demetre to his final resting place at Nunhead Cemetery.

Jossete appealed for the public to support her in this hour of grief. "I want the public to come and walk with us out of love and respect for my son and in pursuit of justice. I ask that you attend the march in Birmingham and support the call for an independent inquiry into all suspicious deaths in custody. Enough is enough our boys are not safe in the hands of the police and justice must be done "

NB March transport details: Coach leaving Brixton at 7am July 2nd, call Bella Blake on 07789 685 208, a few places are available for £11 each.

Lee Jasper

Picture: Demetre Fraser

Archived Comments

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The March

I found out about this via a facebook link. This is to express my sincere condolences to the family and to wish you all safe and meaningful demonstration when it comes up soon. yes another bacl death in police custody and the usual doubletalk and cover up from the IPCC, its a disgrace.

Latest death in police custody

This is seriously getting out of hand now, how many more lives is to be taken by the police before something is done. People we need to mobolise, even if we are unable to march, there must be something that can be done to let our voices be heard, they need to know that we will not take this senseless muderous attack on our people. They are threating us like slaughtering meat. I am in shock about this not surprised in shock and disbelief.

This is woeful and shameless.

This is woeful and shameless. I extend deepest sympathy to our young brother's family; that they will find the strength to pursue justice for him. I am attending the March for Kingsley on 2nd July and support the initiative to force the IPCC to reconsider its decision to allow the police to investigate themselves, though we know they too are a police clone. We press FORWARD EVER, BACKWARD NEVER until such time as we get out peace.

justice for demetre frazer

another death while police are involved, my heart goes out to all the family and friends of demetre, how many more have to loose there lives whilst police are involved before something is done, although i never demetre i had to watch his family grieve everyday and look for answers, it was heart wrenching, its disgusting how they can let police investigate police, everyone knows they are one unit and will do anything to cover up their mistakes, something has to be done about that aswell, my condolences to the family,, i truly hope you get justice for your son and the answers you are so desperatley searching for,,,,,,,,

Rest In Peace Demetre

I cant believe after me and a friend was on the phone all night preparing our posters for Saturday's march and trying to get as much information about the souls lost at the hands of the police, I came across this article. To my disbelief as I read his name a chill came over me. I scanned for his Mothers name and to my shock Demetre is my little cousin I have not seen for years. I can not describe the disgust I have that we live in a society that does this to our men. Please, if you can come out and support the families please do. Cousin Jossette I feel your pain and will see you unfortunately on Saturday. Another name added to the growing list of lives lost at the hands of the police. We have to stop them before they stop any more of us. We were saying who will be next and now I know it was my family. The Creators know why I decided to March for this cause. May all souls taken find peace and justice. Thank you Mr Jasper for all that you are doing, I am sure the families appreciate your support.

Demetre's funeral postponed

Campaign 4 Justice 4 Demetre Fraser aka T.Dot
URGENT ANNOUNCEMENT: Demetre's funeral was scheduled to be held on 4th July but it has been postponed. This is because the family are arranging for an independent pathology report in order to challenge the forensic evidence that has been made available to them. We will keep you updated. On behalf of Demetre's family, thank you for your support at this most difficult time. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Campaign-4-Justice-4-Demetre-Fraser-aka-TDot/100133863415528

Justice for the black community

We support the call from Demetre's family for justice and commend their stance in taking on this battle. The attack on Demetre is an attack on the entire African community.
Jail the killer cops now!
Put the state on trial!
Build our own court. Build the First National Tribunal on Reparations to African People in the UK.

Rest in peace demetre

The death of Demetre came as such a shock to me and my partner. We were some of his few friends in Birmingham and he will be dearly missed. Ever since his passing i cannot get him out of my mind, That wicked smile and funny personality. he was much loved by us. I myself as many around her can 100% confirm that the events that took place and lead to his death and the version of events from the police and local news papers do not add up AT ALL!! I myself for one know full well that there is no way that he would of jumped to his death. Also all the other story's and rumors going around are not true either. Ive done my own digging and asking around but yet still nothing makes sense. I totally agree that the IPCC should not have passed it back to west midlands police and would stand by the fact that they need to review this decision. I ask if anyone could tell me where the march will be taking place in birmingham city centre as i would like to support demetre's family and those who have lost there lives too. Also i am hoping fingers crossed to be coming down to london to show my love and respect to deme and his family as he is lay to rest. All my love and support goes to deme's family, who are lovely people when i met them in such horrible circumstances, And i support fully this campaign for justice for all that have lost lives in police hands. Rest in peace Dem xxxx

The Enemy Within.

I watched a re-run of The London Programme at the BFI in London yesterday. The programme covered the Brixton Riots of 1981, what progress had been made ten years on, and what is likely to happen ten years from 1991 and, after many false starts and promises. The programme also covered the Scarman Report.

John Fraser quoted: "If there is not a dramatic change we are going to have an unstable society."

A younger Margaret Hodge quoted: "I think that as well that in ten years time if there isn't a dramatic change in the money made available to address disadvantage, and in the legislative framework, to address racism, we will simply get more powerlessness, more alienation and more violence on our street."

Neither of them saw the threat that lay dormant in their party. The lethal concoction of Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, Peter Mandelson, and Alistair Campbell had other plans of their own. Thirteen years after a New Labour government, and into the New Millenium, we are reading headlines like: Outrage at new death in police custody.

Thank you New Labour for another nasty legacy and the racism to go with it.

The Enemy Within

No matter what politic party, they will not not do any better for you, but the Labour party is not as bad as the Conservative PARTY. ONLY God can bring round a change to any party. If you consider yourself, so will also consider other.

Dotrys

New Labour Mode.

Dotrys

The Conservatives are currently running the country on policies set out by the previous administration; namely the odious New Labour Party. With the exception of the cuts - which, Heaven knows what cuts New Labour would have made - this country is currently operating on New Labour Mode. David Cameron didn't have any policy or idea on how he was going to solve the country's problems going into the last General Election. New Labour under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown were inately racist. The results speak for the facts.

Demetre u will be deeply missed!!!

Hearing of this young man's death came a shock to myself..Knowing his mother and Demetre, a young man that loved his mother endlessly...his laughter and his jokiness..Jossette you know your boy loved you and would want you to be strong and fight for justice that police brutality cannot prevail...my deepest condolences to you and your children....the IPCC has a duty to enquire Demetre's death and the other recent black men that has died in police presence...The truth will be revealed...Keep faith and stay bless...Just remember you have alot of people that supports you....

Tottenham Riots 2011 After 13 Yrs Of Racism.

Firstly, I would like to congratulate Lee Jasper for this very interesting and thought provoking article. Let's just say the chickens have finally come home to roost on the subject of the Metropolitan Police.

The last time we had a riot of such magnitude, the Conservative's were in power. We had a break from all of these sort of problems because of the trust certain sections of the Minority Ethnic Community had in the last wretched and inately racist New Labour Government.

Thirteen years of the seeding of very bad racist policies between 1997 and 2010, has now sadly been taken back to the 1980s.

What a tragedy.

Rest in Peace My Brother Gone But Never Forgotten

im lost of words cant belive what i m seing hearing or felling this cant be true i feel so sick in side is a pain i cant describe my dear friend d dot we have shared some special momments u sure will be very missed.....i waited 4 u that day phoning u and pinging u like mad wondering what had happen 2u....this seems so an real when i found out was like all the good times we had jest started cumin 2 me running up and down in my mind like a roller coaster ooh Lord i know for sure you wood never take your own life u had ambition and determination,smart outgoing.... knew were you come from and were u ere going u had a life plan and expectations one of the most brilliant ppl i ever meat Rest in Peace Demetry Love u always my brudda the god die young...
Im gonna take the time 2 ask any1 who kows or saw anything could u pls come forward we need justice too many innocent black young man are loosing they lifes........i send all my love to demetrys family may the lord keep u strong....

Demetre you were the most kind ,warm and wonder-fullest person

Words can't explain how i miss you so much ,its like for just one minute you were here and the other you were gone,no-one has forgotten you D , your mum miss Josie and Dominique loves you very much she misses you words can't explain the way she feels but were all here to support you and her ,both i and Lauren miss you too, justice must be seen upon your name you were a dear friend and a great person justice must come R.I.P LOVE YOU ALWAYS, GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN <3

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