Justice for brothers from Cadets/MOD
Justice for brothers from Cadets/MOD
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Who am I?
I am the mother of two young boys, at the time aged 13 and 14, whose treatment (whilst attending a cadet summer camp in Northumberland in July 2019) was unjustly escalated due to racism. The adultification we often see of young black boys in our society, who are frequently labelled as criminal and threatening also played a role in their persecution. All in all, this incident reveals how young black boys in our society are not treated as children by the Police and the Army.
The boys were publicly arrested at the camp and detained at a police station miles away due to allegations that were never pursued. They were not spoken to or informed of these allegations by staff before the police showed up at the camp to take them away. As a parent, I received no communication from the Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force (GMACF) until two days after the arrest.
My sons were the subject of institutional racism within the GMACF and the Police.
July 31 2019
These young boys were enjoying their week at the summer camp, despite enduring repeated racist abuse from other cadets.
Suddenly, the boys were told that they were being kicked out of the camp. The police handcuffed the boys in front of the whole camp and did not allow them to call me. The camp staff sniggered and grinned as the boys were taken away.
They were kept separately in cold cells with excrement stains on the floor and writing on the wall, one of which read ‘I’ve killed five people’. My sons were scared, upset, and confused. They are only children.
- It became clear that the allegations made were unfounded.
- No formal complaints were ever made against my boys.
- These allegations did not warrant a public arrest and detention by the police.
I only became aware of my sons’ arrest when I received a phone call from the Northumbria police telling me that my sons were being held in custody miles away from the camp. The Greater Manchester Army Cadet Force (GMACF) only informed me of their arrest two days later, after I had tweeted about my sons’ experience.
I encouraged my sons to join the cadets in the hope that it would be a positive experience for their development and growth.
Instead, my sons will have recurring nightmares about the arrest, unable to sleep, low moods, anxiety and left feeling traumatised by the ordeal.
I would like to hold the Ministry of Defence and the police to account for the shocking way in which they treated my sons because of their race.
We hope that no other child or parent finds themselves in our position.
Why we need your help
You wouldn’t believe that the findings of the investigation by the Cadets have not been shared with us and it was only completed in September 2020. Why do we have to uphold deadlines and respond by a certain date but these large institutions do not have to? I need support to help fund our complaint against the Ministry of Defence and the Cadets.
Initially, we aim to raise £5,000.
Please help us fight racial injustice within the Ministry of Defence and the Cadets. We want to ensure that other children of colour, pursuing life-long learning experiences with the Cadets or thinking about Careers with the Army are not subjected to the treatment that we endured.
Thank you for your support and thank you for sharing.
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