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Undercover Policing Inquiry Family of murdered teenager worry the ‘role of racism’ in undercover policing will ‘remain hidden’

Spycops targeted Audrey and Richard Adams after they launched a campaign to seek justice for their son Rolan, who was killed by fascists

by Bethany Rielly

A FAMILY targeted by spycops after their son was killed by a self-described Nazi gang have expressed fears that the “role of racism” in undercover policing will “remain hidden.” 

Audrey and Richard Adams, who are core participants in the Undercover Policing inquiry, are demanding answers as to why they were targeted while seeking justice for their murdered son. 

Rolan Adams, 15, was killed after he and his brother Nathan were attacked by a gang of 12 to 15 neonazis on their way home in Thamesmead, south-east London, in 1991. 

Nathan, who was 14 at the time, managed to escape.

Speaking on behalf of the Adams family, Rajiv Menon QC told the inquiry today that police “deracialised” the attack, claiming it was a fight over territory. 

“The police branded Rolan and Nathan with the racist stereotype that black boys cannot be innocent,” he said. 

Only one member of the gang was convicted of murder. 

Police then turned on the family, Mr Menon said, “harassing” Nathan and spying on him and his parents after they launched a campaign to seek justice for Rolan. 

In 2014, the Metropolitan Police admitted that it had found records on the family from files of the Special Demonstration Squad (SDS) - the top-secret police unit under scrutiny in the inquiry. 

Reading a statement from Nathan, Mr Menon said: “Learning that I had been spied on made me a bit sane again,” but added that the 30-year delay in being told this “confirmed that no-one cared about Rolan’s name, my family or me.”

Mr Menon told the inquiry that the family were angry “at the culture of denial that has seen Rolan’s racist murder largely airbrushed from history.”

The family are also critical of the inquiry, highlighting the absence of diversity on the panel which only Judge John Mitting, seen widely as an establishment figure, sits on.

“They are worried that the role of racism in undercover policing will remain hidden,” Mr Menon said. 

Mr Menon said the Adams family believed that had the police focused their attention on the perpetrators of the attacks, further racist murders could have been prevented. 

He said the Adams family demand to know “whether the police would spy on a white family in similar circumstances. 

“Any inquiry worth having will answer that question.”

Speaking later, Matthew Ryder QC said that campaigns seeking justice for the deaths of black people, including Stephen Lawrence, were “disproportionately” targeted by undercover cops. 


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