Protesters took to the streets of central London to protest racism after a report revealed that a black schoolgirl had been stripped naked while on her period.
A crowd marched in Whitehall on Saturday demanding an end to racial discrimination following the report’s publication in March.
Participants included several carrying signs highlighting the story of the Hackney teenager, referred to in the report as Boy Q.
Taking to a stage in front of the crowd, Merseyside Black Lives Matter campaigner Chantelle Lunt demanded justice for the schoolgirl, known as Child Q.
She said: “She is each of our children, she is not just someone else, she is our daughter and we have to fight for her.
“She is all of our children. So when we talk about black lives matter, we mean it, our lives matter, our lives matter, and it matters how you treat our kids.”
The march, organized by the activist group Stand Up To Racism, coincided with the UN’s Day Against Racism and also highlighted a number of other issues, including the plight of refugees.
The local child protection practice review was conducted by the City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership (CHSCP) following the incident in late 2020.
It found that the “traumatic” search of the 15-year-old black schoolgirl by Metropolitan Police officers took place at her school without the presence of another adult and with the knowledge that she was menstruating.
He said racism was “likely an influential factor” in the decision to search for the girl.
After teachers called police to the 15-year-old girl’s school, they conducted a strip search where the girl’s private body parts were exposed and forced her to remove her sanitary pad, according to the review.
Protester Danielle Parker, 39, said: “Obviously we don’t know all the details of the case, but it seems a little strange that that’s the first thing they plan to do and then leave her in the company of police without any appropriate adults with her.
“My niece is black and she’s 15 years old and I can’t imagine her going through something like that, it’s a scar, a change of life.”
Another attendee, Claire Wormald, 56, described the incident as “absolutely barbaric”.
She said: “Obviously, as we know, we’ve just seen all these institutions continue, and absolutely continue, to target black people, like we recently saw this high school student in London who was basically strip-searched. humiliated, so it’s about fighting that.
Scotland Yard apologized, saying the incident “should never have happened.”
London Mayor Sadiq Khan wrote to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) on Wednesday to argue that the officers involved should be charged with serious misconduct rather than misconduct, because to the review’s finding that racism played a role in the decision to conduct the strip search.