Two more men have been arrested in connection to the shooting of radical Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson, who remains in critical condition in a London hospital after being shot in the head in May.
Ms Johnson, who has been a leading figure in the Black Lives Matter movement in Britain and has described herself as “Oxford’s Black Panther”, was shot on May 23rd nearby a house party in the Southwark area of London.
The Metropolitan Police revealed that a 25-year-old man was arrested at a residential address in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to murder in the earlier hours of Wednesday morning. Another man in Southwark was arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to murder at around 2:30 pm on the same day.
Both men remain in police custody at the time of this reporting.
So far seven men have been arrested in connection to the shooting, and two men, 18-year-old Cameron Deriggs and Devonte Brown have been charged with conspiracy to murder. Four unnamed men currently remain on bail until a date in late June.
Earlier this month, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard appealed for witnesses to come forward with information, revealing that none of those who attended the house party had spoken to the police.
“Although we have made a number of arrests, I am continuing to appeal to anyone who is yet to come forward to please speak with officers,” DCI Leonard said, adding that he would “urge those who were at the party to make contact and tell us what you know. It is vital that we gather as much information as possible to establish what happened in the early hours of that Sunday morning and why.”
The police have not subsequently revealed if any witnesses have come forward since then.
Police investigating the shooting of Sasha Johnson have charged a second man with conspiracy to murder. The 18-year-old appeared at court today and was remanded to the Old Bailey on 7 July. Witnesses or anyone with info are still urged to contact police or @CrimestoppersUK
— Southwark Police | Central South BCU (@MPSSouthwark) June 12, 2021
From early on in the investigation, the Met revealed that it was searching for “four black males” and that there was no indication of a political motive behind the attack on Johnson.
Yet some on the political left in the UK, including Labour Party MP Diane Abbott, the verified Black Lives Matter UK Twitter account, and Ms Johnson’s own political party have speculated that there was a political element to the shooting.
Earlier this month, the Taking The Initiative Party (TTIP) — of which Sasha Johnson was a key memember — wrote on social media: “What reason would an 18 year old black boy have to conspire to murder Sasha. who was really behind this conspiracy to murder sasha johnson and why? [sic]”.
On June 7th, Sasha Johnson’s mother, Ellet Dalling urged witnesses to come forward to the police with any information on the shooting of her daughter, saying: “What has happened to Sasha has left us devastated. She is currently fighting for her life in hospital with two children asking where their mummy is, what do I tell them? Someone must have information to what happened and to come forward.
“Sasha is passionate about standing up for others, please come forward and stand up for Sasha. Come forward to help us, I know it is not always easy but imagine if it was your daughter or the mother of your children. I believe there are people out there that can help.”
Follow Kurt Zindulka on Twitter here @KurtZindulka