Hackney IS NOT INNOCENT! - By Yolanda Lear

A Poem I wrote taken from the 'Policing In Hackney' report, written by myself alongside some other amazing youth leaders at Account Hackney.

Hackney ain't innocent

There's blood on our streets from the hands of the police

Remember the name Rashan Charles

He was killed in 2017

His family still weeps But Coolie, "

The officer was just doing his job"

Nah man, the brudda couldn't breathe

This one's close to home, really broke Hackney,

Still no justice, officer walked free,

There's a murderer out on the streets,

and he's still patrolling Hackney,

How can we feel safe, who’s gonna protect us?

My prayers go out to his family,

We must never forget his name So, say his name,

Rashan Charles.

Say his name Rashan Charles, RIP.

Maddest ting is, he ain't the first

In 2002 we was saying R.I.P Kwame Another death in custody

And it's the same old story, he died of natural causes,

But when he asked for your help

Officers refused, they thought he was faking it

Though he was constantly collapsing,

moving round in agony

He should have lived,

he had a 90% chance

But they show you neglect, when your skin colour is dark,

Kwame R.I.P,

My prayers are with your family

1994 that's the year of my birth

But right before Christmas, the feds left Hackney hurt,

That's another family crying, another brother dying,

An unlawful killing, as he struggled for his life

Say his name Oluwashiji

Say his name Oluwashiji

In 1998, there was still no justice for his family

My prayers are with them, as the officers where let free

But hold on wait, ain't the police meant to serve and protect,

So what happened to Vandana

is that a case of neglect?

In 1991 she seeked refuge in your station

Escaping from her boyfriend, who used her body as a target,

She pleaded for your protection,

she didn't want him in the meeting,

But you let him in anyway And he stabbed her to death,

She was only 21, she should’ve had a lot of life left,

I'm sorry officer, what is your job again

Because it can't be to serve and protect,

As we remember their names

Let's remember their families,

Because nothing makes sense when tryna comprehend these tragedies,

In 1983 Hackney said R.I.P To a brother named Colin Roach,

Died from a gunshot, in the entrance of the police station

Coroner's Jury deemed it a suicide.


I'm starting to think suicide means "We did it" when it comes to the police

Because the amount of suicides in their station

I swear it deserves an investigation,

Colin Roach was 21

His family deserves some justice man

Do you want me to believe a Black man could walk down the streets of Hackney,

in 1983.

With a bag and a shotgun,

And not get stopped by no one,

Only to make it to the station,

Then turn around and commit suicide?

You'll have an easier job convincing me That I'm actually white,

than me ever believing that lie

And since that will never happen,

I know for a fact that Colin Roach didn't commit suicide

See Hackney ain't innocent

There's blood on our streets

From the hands of the police

And there's some names I didn't even mention

Like Vincent Graham

Tunay Hassan,

and Michael Ferreira

All these names and no officers charged

Still no justice for their families

My prayers are large

Coz it don't take a bullet to break someone's heart

R.I.P to da fallen,

Hackney ain't innocent

There's blood on our streets from the hands of the police.

Written By Yolanda Lear

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