Closing Ranks and the DTT
Black Lives Matter has mobilised a movement of young people that has also generated greater interest in Black History Month, which I know taps into the critical mass of socially conscious young people aligned with the DTT journey. I know this journey will continue through the ‘Hope 2020’ campaign and the need for greater collaboration between statutory and privately run organisations.
The opening chapter of my recently published autobiography ‘Closing Ranks’ is on Damilola Taylor, starting with the family connections through my wife who is a cousin of Richard – Damilola’s father – followed by the potential clash with my professional role, which I wouldn’t allow to compromise the investigation. In fact my impact was quite the opposite with the role of black officers I introduced into the Homicide Investigation Team, significantly contributing to the identification of the suspects and their eventual conviction. In addition to creating a Cultural Resource Unit that capitalised on the life skills of Black and minority ethnic officers in solving major incidences, especially if it broke down walls of silence by increasing trust in police; a direct legacy to and celebrating the unique memory of Damilola.
It has been a privilege to maintain both my personal and professional relationships with the Damilola Taylor Trust (DTT) from its original launch, followed by my support of their extensive programmes and a growing number of events over the years. In particular the Spirit Of London Awards (SOLA), one of the most high-profile and prestigious youth focused events awarding the amazing talent amongst London’s young people. I also took pride in my role as Chair of the adult advisory group to the youth-led One Big Community (1bc) initiative, building on the critical mass of socially conscious young people emerging out of SOLA. Using their tech savvy emphasis 1bc was able to carry out an unprecedented consultation with young people regarding violence on the streets of London and the real causes behind it, therefore it’s not surprisingly that the emerging empirical evidence was one of the main drivers behind an ‘All Parliamentary Commission’ (APC) on Youth Violence 2016-20. As the police advisor to the APC I took great pride in my contribution to the interim and final report, all of which honoured the memory of Damilola.
Building on the outrage from the George Floyd killing, Black Lives Matter has mobilised a movement of young people that has also generated greater interest in Black History Month, which I know taps into the critical mass of socially conscious young people aligned with the DTT journey; from the launch to the APC. I know this journey will continue through the ‘Hope 2020’ campaign and the need for greater collaboration between statutory and privately run organisations, to ensure we have safer neighbourhoods and the public have a reduced fear of crime.
Leroy Logan MBE