Sean Rigg custody demise: digital statue unveiled outdoors Brixton police station

2021-08-21 22:33:36

A digital statue has been unveiled outdoors Brixton police station on the anniversary of Sean Rigg’s demise in custody.

The statue is of campaigner Marcia Rigg, Sean’s sister, and is the primary in a sequence of “augmented actuality statue interventions” beneath the Holding the Flame initiative.

Sean died following a cardiac arrest on 21 August 2008 whereas in police custody.

The art work, by transformative public arts firm Aswarm, goals to supply a up to date different to the statues throughout Britain, inviting spectators to hearken to, in addition to view them.

It’s a part of a sequence, 81 Acts of Exuberant Defiance, responding to the fortieth anniversary of the Brixton rebellion. Within the following weeks, the art work will likely be obtainable for longer-term public viewing by an app.

The Impartial was invited to a personal preview occasion attended by company together with Black Lives Matter UK, poet and activist Linton Kwesi Johnson, and bereaved members of the family of people that have died following police contact, together with Pleasure Gardner’s mom, Roger Sylvester’s father and campaigner Lee Lawrence – son of Marcia Rigg.

Mr Lawrence mentioned: “I, together with different households and the group, bear in mind my pricey brother Sean, 13 years on, with a vigil with a distinction.

Digital statue of Marcia Riggs

(The Impartial)

“I’m really honoured and excited to be a part of this new, modern-day sequence of augmented actuality statues as a method of celebrating individuals inside our communities. Many households have challenged the system for higher change and accountability in our justice system right here within the UK, and it’s good to be recognised for the work that we households do.

“Sean died a lonely and traumatic demise on the toes of uncaring officers, identical to George Floyd and so many others within the UK, the US and globally. We bear in mind all of them and they’ll definitely by no means be forgotten.”

Following the revealing, the households walked a brief distance up the street to go to the newly-erected Cherry Groce Memorial in Windrush Sq..

Marcia Rigg and Linton Kwesi Johnson


Rod Charles, the grand-uncle of Rashan Charles who died in 2017 following contact with the Met Police in Dalston, additionally attended at the moment’s occasion to indicate his assist to the Rigg household.

“The avoidable lack of life which occurred 13 years in the past is simply as poignant at the moment because it was then – there isn’t a change and it’s essential to assist the households,” he informed The Impartial, including that his personal kinfolk have been left “damaged” following Rashan’s demise by the hands of officers.

Mr Charles is a retired Metropolitan Police chief inspector, who served for 30 years. He joined in 1984 at a time when the relationships between police and communities in lots of components of London was “troublesome”.

Sean Rigg, a bodily match musician, died at Brixton police station in August 2008 after being restrained by extreme drive by officers


“I regrettably say that each one these years on, in some communities, the connection with the police is now worse,” he mentioned.

“Law enforcement officials have very, very troublesome jobs to do. I find out about that, having performed the job myself. However on the identical time there must be a concentrate on the affect when issues go improper, and that focus is unquestionably lacking and I don’t suppose it’s an oversight.

“The construction, the insurance policies, most of the characters inside the police service and organisations of energy do discriminate towards different individuals.”

He added: “It’s essential for the police to recognise the harm that’s been performed and, as a rule, the tragic errors which have been avoidable, compounded by the cover-ups afterwards. The onus isn’t on the group to regulate to the police, the onus is on the police service, the paid and educated officers to adapt to their communities.”

Bereaved households of people that have died following police contact


Lucy McKay, from the charity Inquest which supplies recommendation on state-related deaths, described the art work as “an essential step in acknowledging and celebrating the power and energy of bereaved individuals”.

“Too typically our authorized techniques fail bereaved households and don’t present the reality, justice and accountability that they and the general public want following state-related deaths,” she informed The Impartial.

“Nevertheless, this doesn’t cease households from being on the forefront of making optimistic change in our techniques and society.

“Marcia Rigg is one member of the family who has performed simply that, in addition to different members of the United Households and Mates Marketing campaign and the generations of households who got here earlier than them. This work, at a time when households are grieving, is so typically hidden and ignored.”

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