The family of a 17-year-old boy, who was hacked to death with a machete in broad daylight in London, has called for increased levels of stop and search from police to prevent further bloodshed.
Three 18-year-old men have been arrested in connection to the murder of Jeremy Meneses-Chalarca, who was hacked to death off iconic Oxford Street in Central London on Saturday afternoon.
Meneses-Chalarca was chased through the streets by his machete-wielding attackers. They were arrested on suspicion of murder after turning up at a hospital in South London with superficial stab wounds.
Speaking on behalf of the family, the wife of the victim’s cousin told The Times: “We want to get to the bottom of what happened. It is a very difficult time for all of them.”
“I agree with the stop and search. It is a delicate matter because people do not really agree with it, but I think it’s one of the only ways to stop this happening,” the family member said.
“I’m sure if there were more stop and searches, this could have been avoided,” she lamented.
Police stop and searches have come under increased scrutiny during the Black Lives Matter furore that has swept throughout the United Kingdom, with activists claiming minorities are searched disproportionately due to “institutional” or “systemic” police racism.
Khan’s London: Teen Killed in Machete Attack in Broad Daylight on Iconic Oxford Street https://t.co/APs3SHIafD
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) August 9, 2020
One of Britain’s top political parties, the Liberal Democrats, have gone so far as to call for the abolition of the police procedure, crediting BLM with raising the issue.
The party argued that the disproportionate impact of the policy on black and other ethnic minority groups was an indicator that stop and search must be racist.
“The Black Lives Matter protests have demonstrated the urgent need to tackle racial injustice and address the pain and harm these injustices cause,” the party wrote, adding that Prime Minister Boris Johnson should “abolish” the searches.
“On too many occasions, stop and search seems to mean being black is enough to be suspected of being a criminal,” alleged Lib Dem acting leader Ed Davey.
Black Lives Matter UK Raises $1 Million in Days, Vows to Spend Cash on Abolition of Police https://t.co/1lNhIIAkL8
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) June 10, 2020
In 2016, a prominent former police officer from the London Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) defended the practice, however, claiming that stop and search has been instrumental in saving the lives of young black men in the capital.
“Stop and search works if we want to stop, frankly, black youths killing other black youths,” said former Metropolitan Police Detective Chief Superintendent Kevin Hurley.
Hurley noted that in 2008, 28 of the 29 teenagers who were stabbed to death in London were black, and that “virtually all of the assailants were black”.
“[Stop and search] absolutely works because as a result of that probably in the order of 100 to 150-plus black mothers didn’t lose their sons through stabbing,” he said bluntly.
Khan’s London: Teen Stabbings Reach Decade High https://t.co/nmId8ht7dS
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) November 25, 2019
It has been speculated on social media, according to The Times report, that Jeremy Meneses-Chalarca was involved in a youth gang known as Rockingham, an off branch of the Harlem Spartans, a rap group with ties to gang crime and violence.
The Harlem Spartans reportedly have an ongoing battle with the 410 gang from Brixton in South London, leading many to believe that the machete murder was a result of a turf war.
Khan’s London: Gang Rape Trio Held Machete to Schoolgirl Victim’s Throat https://t.co/XqsmM5MLtQ
— Breitbart London (@BreitbartLondon) February 7, 2020
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