When I popped out to get some milk earlier there was a police van on the street outside the lair. As I walked past, swearing and shouting “Biscuit”, an officer who was searching someone turned and looked me up and down. “Everything alright?” he asked. I nodded and then ticced, “Fuck off.” I kept moving.
When I came back from the shops the van was still there and my tics responded even more creatively. Inspired by the rapper KRS-1 I said, “That’s the sound of a sheep…Baa.”
The presence of the police often exacerbates my tics. Last week, shortly after the tragic death of Smiley Culture during a raid on his home, I listened to the press conference held by his family. The official explanation given by the police about how he died is bizarre. According to them, Smiley died from a single stab wound that he inflicted on himself while being allowed to make a cup of tea unsupervised. Shortly after I’d listened to his family talking about what had happened I walked past a police van and ticced “Murderers!” My tics aren’t normally influenced by what I’m thinking, but this is one of the few examples of when something that’s on my mind spills over into a tic.
My fear is that, like with Ian Tomlinson and Jean Charles de Menezes, Smiley Culture’s family will not get a full and frank account of how their loved one died. During an interview Ian Tomlinson’s widow said, “They’re police officers, you do trust police, they are the law, there’s no one above the law. You do trust them, they’re there to serve and protect.” They went on to ask if she still trusted them and she said, “Would you? They are there to serve and protect but they didn’t protect Ian that day.”
All of us need to be able to trust the police for help when we need it, but shocking deaths such as these only serve to increase the distrust that people already feel. In the words of Smiley Culture’s nephew Merlin Emanuel:
“The police have a lot to answer to. Until our questions, queries and suspicions have been fully and competently answered to dispel any notion of foul play, we will not rest.”