The MintPress podcast, “The Watchdog,” hosted by British-Iraqi hip hop artist Lowkey, closely examines organizations about which it is in the public interest to know – including intelligence, lobby and special interest groups influencing policies that infringe on free speech and target dissent. The Watchdog goes against the grain by casting a light on stories largely ignored by the mainstream, corporate media.
After being chased by racists through London in 1997, Ricky Reel was found dead in the River Thames. For many years, his family struggled to convince the Metropolitan Police to investigate his death. Ricky’s mother Sukdhev was then later informed that SpyCops from the Special Demonstration Squad had spied on the family campaign. Lowkey speaks to the grieving mother still struggling for justice for her son almost 20 years later.
“Throughout his 20 years, there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t missed him…the police officer told me the story, told me that Ricky and his friends had been attacked…still turned around and said, I’m sorry, I’m not going to take a statement…”
While police racism has become a national issue in the United States, the situation in the U.K., if Reel’s case is anything to go by, is not so dissimilar. “They were racist,” Sukdhev said of the police, adding,
They were stereotyping our family because we happened to be an Asian, working-class family. And also sexism was also in there because I’m a woman. I stood up to face them.”
She also claimed that once her son’s body was found, the police categorically refused to investigate the matter.
Continuing the conversation, Lowkey discusses the Special Demonstration Squad. This undercover unit infiltrated hundreds of groups for over 40 years, including the Justice for Ricky Reel Campaign, which Sukdhev set up to investigate the death of her son.
“Why did they spy on me? All I was asking was for justice for my son. All I was asking was for you to do a proper investigation, simply because I kept on pointing on their mistakes…I felt like a second-class citizen. They treated me like dirt,” she said.
Watch the whole interview here, exclusively at MintPress News.
Lowkey is a British-Iraqi hip-hop artist, academic and political campaigner. As a musician, he has collaborated with the Arctic Monkeys, Wretch 32, Immortal Technique and Akala. He is a patron of Stop The War Coalition, Palestine Solidarity Campaign, the Racial Justice Network and The Peace and Justice Project, founded by Jeremy Corbyn. He has spoken and performed on platforms from the Oxford Union to the Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury. His latest album, Soundtrack To The Struggle 2, featured Noam Chomsky and Frankie Boyle and has been streamed millions of times.
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