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“NO APPETITE TO TAKE TO THE STREETS” OVER ISAIAH

23-02-2010

The family of Birmingham youngster Isaiah Young-Sam who was killed in the 2005 Lozells Riots only want justice, not reprisals, according to government gangs advisor Derrick Campbell – and he emphasised there was “no appetite to take to the streets” over the issue.

Three men who had previously been convicted of the murder were cleared at Birmingham Crown Court last week following a retrial, after it emerged that vital evidence had been withheld from the original court hearing.

Campbell, who hosted a meeting of community activists in Handsworth last week in the aftermath of the acquittal, visited Isaiah’s mother Myrna last night.

Speaking afterwards to The Stirrer, he said: “There is a lot of upset and concern, but the community hasn’t got the appetite to take to the streets.

“But what they do want is proper justice and a conviction for the death of Isaiah – and justice for the incompetence of the police and the Crown Prosecution Service who they hold partly responsible for the position we are in now.

“The family don’t want any reprisals, and what we must not allow to happen – which is what some of the media want – is for this to be blown off course and turned into a race issue. It’s about injustice.”

Birmingham Council’s Cabinet Minister for Equalities and Alan Rudge has also entered the debate by offering “sympathy and support” for Isaiah’s family.

He announced the creation of the CommUNITY project designed to foster good community relations in Lozells and Handsworth, and said, “I will consult with West Midlands Police on how we can ensure those responsible for the tragic murder of Isaiah are brought to justice.”

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