The Justice4Grainger campaign took its protest right into the heart of lunchtime Manchester today, holding a rally outside the headquarters of the Crown Prosecution Service, as word spread that Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy had pleaded not guilty at London's Westminster Magistrates Court to health and safety charges surrounding the police shooting of Broughton's Anthony Grainger.
In January, the Greater Manchester Police officer who shot and killed Anthony Grainger was not prosecuted by the Crown Prosecution Service. Instead Fahy was charged for breaches of the Health and Safety at Work Act (for full details see previous Salford Star article – click here).
"Sir Peter Fahy has pleaded not guilty in a farcical trial where he faces no criminal responsibility or liability regarding our Anthony being shot dead on that car park in Warrington in 2012" said Wesley Ahmed of Justice4Grainger "Now the inquest has been pushed further away from us and there's a gagging order - we're not allowed to speak about the case until after the Health and Safety trial has finished.
"Obviously this is orchestrated by the establishment to take as long as it takes to keep the family from getting any kind of justice in this country" he added "Now the trial could be later this year, it could be next year, we don't know, but the longer it takes, the more they think it's going to be kicked into the long grass."
Fahy, who did not appear in court today, has been summoned to appear at Southwalk Crown Court on February 20th to fix a date for a later trial.
Speaking to campaigners on a megaphone outside the Crown Prosecution office, a spokesperson for Justice4Grainger said…
"It's nearly two years since Anthony Grainger was shot by police, he was unarmed and the two people in the car with him were unarmed. The police put the two people on trial and charged them with conspiracy to rob but they were found not guilty. Anthony Grainger was named in that charge so by implication Anthony Grainger was found not guilty. The police were proved in the court that day to have shot an innocent man.
"The Crown Prosecution Service only two weeks ago issued a statement that said they could not prosecute the coppers that were involved with the death of Anthony but what they did was instigate a farcical procedure by charging Peter Fahy the Chief Constable of Great Manchester Police under health and safety regulations.
"This was a complete farce and the corruption of justice because, even if Sir Peter Fahy was found guilty, it would not impinge upon his record at all. The GMP would be fined and therefore it would be ordinary tax payers who paid the fine.
"The whole procedure is a way that the state can deny the family of Anthony Grainger any justice... Many families have suffered at the hands of the police and we are very proud today there are representatives of other families who have faced no justice over the killing of their loved ones."
At the protest was the family of Billy Salton, who died in July 2012 `neglected by GMP', a mother representing an organisation called JENGbA, whose son was jailed for ten years after being charged with `Joint Enterprise', even though he wasn't present at the crime scene, and Janet Alder, sister of Chris Alder who is still seeking justice 16 years after his death in police custody.
After the rally - happening almost under gaze of a giant Opera House theatre banner advertising the play Dirty Rotten Scoundrels – campaigners handed in a protest petition to the Crown Prosecution Service containing thousands of signatures…