The campaign "Death in Custody"
The coalition called “Death in Custody” was formed in 2019 as a reaction to the many uninvestigated deaths of Black people and people of color in custody. Black communities, migrant-diasporic communities, and communities of color are deeply affected and unsettled by these incidents. The failure by the authorities to investigate and hold the perpetrators accountable exacerbates the violence of these cases. This is infuriating for the communities affected.
Attempts to clarify are met by resistance from the Police and justice system. The distortion of events in order to protect Police officers and prison employees who were involved in these incidents or who were perpetrators raises serious questions: Who counts in our society? Whose life, and whose death matter? Who has access to rights and justice? To what extent can we rely on the Police and the justice system? How consistently are discriminatory, racist personnel or organized Nazis dealt with in institutions?
People of color have described the connection between racism and institutional violence for years, specifically the fact that Black people and people of color are disproportionately affected by institutional violence. Racial profiling, the denial of health care in detention centers or prisons, and physical assaults in pre-trial detention or psychiatric hospitals are the order of the day. The intersectionality of these cases is visible: people with experiences in psychiatric institutions, refugees, those in precarious living conditions and other marginalized groups are at higher risk. Death in custody and the subsequent lack of accountability are the last level of this violence.