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Rally for suspended West Mids deputy police commissioner

SUSPENDED: Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito

A PROTEST rally will be held the heart of Birmingham on Saturday (Apr 9) as supporters of suspended Deputy Police & Crime Commissioner Yvonne Mosquito fight to have her reinstated.

It follows a heated public meeting held last at the city’s African Caribbean Millennium Centre where more than 100 people backed demands for Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn to intervene in the row, amid calls for the resignation of Police & Crime Commissioner David Jamieson.

There are also proposals to launch an official online petition for her reinstatement through change.org.

Mosquito, who is also an ordained pastor, was suspended from her post by Jamieson on Good Friday (Mar 25) after allegations that she visited the family of Ladywood murder victim Kenichi Phillips without informing officers, breaching protocol.

She has strongly refuted the allegations, saying that as a committed Christian within the United Pentecostal Church of God, she merely went to pray with the family in the tradition of the African and Caribbean community.

But Jamieson, on allegedly being informed by a senior officer, suspended her from her post with immediate effect following concerns that if proven, her actions could have “potentially hindered and jeopardised a complex, sensitive and ongoing murder investigation.”

Meanwhile, the union representing Mosquito has criticised Jamieson for releasing details of his disciplinary action and giving her, in effect, a trial by media.

A Unite spokesperson said they were “appalled that information that should be private and confidential as part of the disciplinary process had been put in the public domain.”

Speakers at the public meeting, chaired by longstanding civil rights activist Maxie Hayles, included veteran Pan African campaigner Bini Brown; Sara Myers, the activist who launched an online campaign to have the ‘human zoo’ exhibition of chained black actors stopped at the London Barbican; Pastor Peter Pennant, who chairs the Council of the Black-Majority Churches; and Brother Andrew, of Birmingham Study Group.

During the meeting there was much confusion about what Ms Mosquito, a longstanding Labour city councillor and a former chair of the Council of Black-Majority Churches, had done wrong. There were several calls for volunteers with legal expertise to step forward.

Prayers and a minute’s silence were held in memory of 18-year-old murder victim Kenichi Phillips, who was shot dead on March 17 as he sat in a car in Ladywood. Bini Brown also performed a libation ceremony.

Panel members said they were hopeful that John McDonnell, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor may attend the rally after he was recently informed of Ms Mosquito’s situation when he attended the city last week at the launch of Momentum Black Connexions.

The Police & Crime Commissioner elections are less than a month away on Thursday May 5 when Jamieson will be up for re-election.

The rally will be held between 12 noon and 2pm on Saturday (Apr 9) outside Birmingham Council House in Victoria Square.

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