Tag Archives: paul stephenson

Black History Month: How Paul Stephenson changed the law

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There was a heartening article in The Guardian yesterday with the headline “Paul Stephenson: the hero who refused to leave a pub – and helped desegregate Britain“.

Paul Stephenson is a black Briton who in 1964 refused to leave a pub in Bristol after he was told by the landlord “We don’t want you black people in here – you are a nuisance.” He was arrested and spent several hours in a police cell. He was cleared and awarded damages in the subsequent court case, which was widely reported in the press.

The repercussions from his act of defiance must have surprised even him, when Harold Wilson sent him a telegram to say that he would change the law. In 1965 the first Race Relations Act, which banned discrimination in public places, was enacted.

Paul Stephenson had previously led a boycott of Bristol buses because they refused to employ black or Asian people. He continued throughout his life to challenge racism in all its forms, working as a community relations officer around the country.

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Brian Paddick writes: What’s good for the Metropolitan Police is not good for politicians

The evening after the Metropolitan Police shot an innocent Brazilian at Stockwell I went and saw the then Deputy Commissioner, Sir Paul Stephenson. I asked whether it was true that the Commissioner had barred the Independent Police Complaints Commission from their legal duty to investigate the death. He said it was. I told him I thought it was the most stupid decision I had ever heard of (I knew by then that we had made a terrible mistake). He smiled and said “It’s my job to support the Commissioner.” I was concerned from then on that Stephenson might be giving …

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[email protected]: Brian Paddick – Police leaders must regain control of their subordinates

Over at The Independent, former Lib Dem London mayoral candidate Brian Paddick, former Deputy Assistant Commissioner at the Metroplitan Police, examines the force’s mounting problems. Here’s an excerpt:

Seeing the video of Ian Tomlinson being assaulted by a police officer during the G20 protests – an apparently innocent man being subjected to what appeared to be an unjustified assault by a police officer – provoked in me an immediate desire for the perpetrator to be suspended, tried and punished.

On the other hand, having been the victim of “trial by media” myself, I realised the need for an independent investigation, the outcome

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
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