Family, friends, and more than 200 people from the community met last night to remember Sean Rigg, as his sister Marcia vowed to bring the police officers involved with his death to prosecution.
The crowds squeezed into the Assembly Rooms at Lambeth Town Hall, Acre Lane, for speeches and a film screening before walking peacefully to Brixton Police Station to light candles for Sean, who died four years before in the station.
Traffic came to a standstill on Brixton Road as protesters marched down the middle of the road chanting “no justice, no peace” while holding banners calling for police to held to account.
The Rigg family also went into the police station to help Mona Dohle submit a formal complaint about alleged police brutality during the arrest of a “vulnerable” man in Windrush Square on Sunday.
Speaking the Brixton Blog, Marcia Rigg said: “We can’t believe it’s four years. Four years is a long time and to wait four years for an inquest to find out how our brother died is completely unacceptable.
“I am absolutely delighted that people have been continuously there for us. People just really want to know what happened to Sean. And now they want to know what’s going to happen next.”
She added: “We will be aiming for the officers to be sent to criminal court for prosecution… They did do wrong and as far as I’m concerned they caused my brother’s death somebody needs to be made accountable. Now that we have got the truth and we have got the evidence we’re going to run with it.”
Sean’s younger sister, Samantha, told the audience: “I don’t think there’s enough words in the human language to explain how I feel tonight.”
An emotional and poignant film, Who Polices the Police, was also screened at the Assembly Rooms. The frank documentary follows the Rigg family in their battle for justice for their brother, and raises serious questions about the role of the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) in investigating deaths in police custody.
Lambeth’s chief police officer, Matt Bell, was at the memorial event and then waited outside Brixton Police Station to speak to the Rigg family and other protestors.
He told the Blog: “I found it very humbling. It is really important that we understand the impact of this on our communities. It is important to hear what happened first hand because it helps us on and work together – it’s all about not repeating mistakes from the past.”
Earlier this month, a jury at Southwark Coroner’s Court returned a damning narrative verdict at the inquest into Sean’s death, highlighting a catalogue of errors from the local mental health trust and Lambeth police in the run up to Sean’s death.
On September 28 the coroner is due to make his recommendations to the authorities involved.