Amidst all the questions as to how anyone could get as far as a custody centre while still in possession of a lethal weapon has come an outpouring of sympathy for a very popular officer. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, London Mayor Sadiq Khan and Home Secretary Priti Patel later stood together to observe a minutes’ silence.
Among the politicians responding to the news was Brent Central’s Labour MP Dawn Butler, who told “This is so shocking and very very sad news. My heartfelt condolences go out to the officer and their family and friends and to all the officers at the station who I hope are getting the support they need at this traumatic time”. This had one galvanising effect: it galvanised every intolerant racist known to the social media universe.
Like a “Leaver from Birmingham who cares about democracy and doesn’t mind a few cakes” asserting “The left are to blame, particularly Kier Starmer, Dawn Butler, Nadia Whitmore [sic], Sadiq Khan etc. All supporting terrorist organisation BLM during violent protests in London”. That’s quite a big reach going on there. And there was more.
There was “Esther K”, whose bio includes the Transatlantic racist snipe “Came for the Kung Flu”. This account’s many contributions included “Make no mistake … Dawn Butler didn't simply falsely accuse the police of racism. She LIED about being racially profiled”.
And someone called Julia, “Wedding Florist. Essex Girl. Brexiteer. Libertarian”, cheerily telling her followers “Dawn Butler taking a well deserved hiding after tweeting her condolences about the murdered Police Officer”. Then came the animal lovers.
Like one asserting “Believer in free speech. Love animals”. But not a lover of people who aren’t white. “Why don’t you pause for a minute and consider why so many people are calling you a hypocrite? Just a moments self reflection … nah, it’s because they’re all ‘racist’ innit?” Meanwhile, “Esther K” was gaining support.
From Ann Sheridan, “Doglover, philosopher, monarchist & Tory”, responding “& now a brave policeman has been killed because #Leftwaffe activists like [Dawn Butler] make the police reluctant to search suspects. [Labour] are the enemy within”. Dog lover.
On the same page was Deb King, “live to be kind” and “Early Years Specialists. Believes that respect breeds respect”. How kind and respectful is Deb? “Sack Dawn Butler she has blood on her hands. Police too frightened to do their jobs properly because of her disgraceful propaganda stunt on the stop and search story. Your [sic] a disgrace Kier for having her as a Labour MP. Will not vote Labour ever again”. Not very kind, actually.
Nor was Maureen Dalby, “Love animals and living in rural Irish countryside with my husband and dogs”, who added “So why did you give such a hard time to the poor police officer who stopped you and your friend recently? Stop & Search needs to be increased … we have now seen the consequences of not doing so. Ask yourself, what's a little inconvenience compared to a life?” All without having any evidence to hand.
But it’s one of those Uppity Black People on the receiving end of the torrent of hatred and abuse, which makes it all right. And whatever you do, don’t call them racist.
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