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Janet Alder hasn't added a story.
Many of you know about what happened to my brother twenty years ago, and the campaign we have been waging ever since. But I feel the full story has still not been told. That is why I am appealing for funds to allow me to work with a writer on a book that will reveal all the twists and turns of the state’s efforts to suppress the truth and prevent justice.
All those who contribute at least £20 will receive a copy of the book when it comes out (hopefully by the end of 2019 at the latest), and all those who contribute at least £15 will receive a copy of the e-book.
Christopher Alder was a former paratrooper decorated for his services in the Falklands; he had two children, and was in training for a new career in computer programming. On April 1, 1998, after a night out, Christopher got into a fight outside the Waterfront nightclub in Hull; after being punched in the face, he was briefly knocked unconscious and lost a tooth. An ambulance was called, and Christopher was taken to Hull Royal Infirmary, accompanied by police officers. His injuries were not deemed serious, and he was discharged, after which the police drove him to the police station one mile away.
Half an hour later he was dead.
I am Christopher’s sister and I have been campaigning to find out the truth around my brother's death, and to hold those responsible to account, ever since. Our campaign has involved an inquest and three major court cases, slowly revealing some of the grotesque details about what was done to my brother - both before and after his death - as well as the lengths to which the British state will go to prevent justice. My book will tell the story of this campaign, and the astounding revelations it has brought out: including the following...
* By the time Christopher arrived in the police station, he was unconscious again, had lost his belt as well as another tooth, and had received new cuts to the lip and above the eye. But neither the cause of these injuries, nor their role in causing his death, have ever been investigated.
* Christopher had been left face down in the custody suite gasping for breath in the last minutes of his life, with police officers later standing around making monkey noises over his corpse - but the jury looking at the case were denied access to the CCTV audiotape which clearly revealed this.
* The official 'investigation' into Christopher's death allowed all the evidence from the police van - including blood samples, CS gas canisters and clothing - to be destroyed.
* Humberside police had both myself and my lawyer under illegal surveillance whilst we prepared our court case.
* Following Christopher's death, Humberside police raided his flat and dredged up Christopher and his siblings' social services records in an apparent attempt to find something with which to smear us - just like they smeared the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.
* In 2011, it was discovered that the body the police had given my family to bury at Christopher's funeral eleven years earlier had in fact been that of Grace Kamara - a 77 year old Nigerian woman. The police had kept Christopher's body, it was finally revealed, in 6 body bags in a Hull mortuary all that time - for 'training purposes'.
* The Home Office had apparently colluded in covering this up by repeatedly blocking - for over ten years - attempts by Grace Kamara's family to come to England to give her a burial.
I could go on - and this book will do so. I believe Christopher's case is not only a damning indictment of my (and Grace Kamara's) family's treatment by the state, but has far reaching significance for the whole of society. In particular:
- Unlawful killing with impunity.
The inquest jury concluded that Christopher Alder was 'unlawfully killed', as even the British government finally admitted in 2011. Yet no one has ever been properly held to account for his killing. Christopher's case demonstrates the total failure of the British state to hold 'its own' to account for their killings - and the collusion of all the various criminal justice institutions, including police, CPS, and IPCC, in this failure.
- It keeps on happening.
Whilst Christopher himself was unique, what happened to him at the hands of the police was sadly not - and nor was the state's denial of justice that followed. The same thing is happening again and again, with an average of one death in police custody every week.
- Legal precedents
Several precedents have been set during the course of our campaign, including:
- In 2011, we took the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) to court - the first time this had ever happened.
- Also in 2011, on the eve of our case opening at the European Court of Human Rights, the British government issued an unprecedented unilateral declaration admitting its responsibility for a death in custody, and for racial discrimination against my brother.
- Race relations
Christopher's case reveals the underlying racism in the British police force, which even the government has admitted is 'institutional'. My book will set the case in the wider context of the racial supremacism that has degraded and dehumanised black people in Britain from the time of our parents' journey to Hull from Nigeria in the 1950s until now.
I need to raise £10,000 to fund a professional writer to work with me on the book, so we can get this historic case in the public eye - and finally expose the whole truth about Christopher's case. I will deeply appreciate any support you can give.
INQUEST briefing on the death of Christopher Alder: http://inquest.org.uk/pdf/Christopher%20Alder%20briefing.pdf
Article on Christopher's death and the campaign: https://www.rt.com/op-edge/311384-christopher-alder-police-brutality/
IPCC report into Christopher's death: https://www.ipcc.gov.uk/investigations/christopher-alder-humberside-police
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