“Many people have died, many families are bereaved. This has to change.”

-Alfred Omishore, father of Oladeji Omishore who died after being tasered by police in June 2022

On Saturday 29 October, thousands joined bereaved families for the annual UFFC (United Families and Friends Campaign) march.

Relatives of those who have died in police and prison custody, and mental health settings, and their supporters marched through London to 10 Downing Street, calling for justice and ‘no more deaths in custody’.

On arrival at Downing Street, the families of Chris Kaba, Oladeji Omishore, Jack Susianta, Mathew Leahy, and Leon Patterson delivered a letter to the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, demanding an end to deaths in police custody and requesting an urgent meeting with him, Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan.

Speaking to the protesters, Alfred Omishore – father of Oladeji Omishore who died in June 2022 falling into the River Thames following the use of a taser by Metropolitan Police Officers – said “Many people have died, many families are bereaved. This has to change.”

As this marked the 24th annual UFFC march, there was a widespread anger that yet more families had joined the campaign after suffering a loss at the hands of the police.

Having organised the first ever UFFC march, Brenda Weinberg said on Saturday, “What’s difficult is we still see so many new faces each year.”

The families who spoke of their experience were unified in their calls on the government to address the recurrence of deaths in custody, hold those responsible accountable, and change the systems that contributed to these deaths.

In a powerful and emotional speech outside Downing Street, Helen Nkama – mother of Chris Kaba – called for ‘justice’, ‘truth’ and ‘accountability’ for her son’s death. Chris Kaba died two months ago on 5 September after being fatally shot by a firearms officer.

Left to right: The family of Oladeji Omishore (Alfred, Aisha, Kenny), Carole - aunt of Mark Duggan, Stephanie Lightfoot-Bennett – twin sister of Leon Patterson, Melanie - mother of Matthew Leahy, the family of Chris Kaba (Prosper, Helen, Jefferson), Mo – brother of Mouayed Bashir, Anna– mother of Jack Susianta)

Some of the families then went to 10 Downing Street, delivering a letter to the Prime Minister, Home Secretary, and Mayor of London, demanding a meeting to discuss their demands for justice and change.

INQUEST was proud to march alongside these families and support them in their calls for change, justice and accountability.

Follow the campaign at @UFFCampaign or visit uffcampaign.org.