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Echo viewpoints: Community has been stigmatised.

Byline: Betty Campbell

HOW long must we wait for an apology from the police force? Fifteen years ago they arrested five men for the murder of Lynette White, four of them from Butetown.

Three of them served time in prison, due to the incompetency, racism and the contempt that many of the officers involved in the case had for the Butetown community.

Even with the much publicised breakthrough of DNA in solving the crime and the confession of the murderer, still no apology.

During the trial the Butetown community was vilified, treated as second-class citizens, referred to as ``people who sleep all day and go out on criminal activities in the night'', and still no apology.

If the Chief Constable Tony Burden wishes to have any credibility with the black community he must ensure that this apology is given immediately, not only to those wrongly convicted but to the entire community.

The Cardiff Three are in a position to sue the police, and I hope they receive ``mega bucks'', but for the community there is nothing except an apology from those who were quick to condemn us all, including the judge, the prosecuting QC and the police. Between you all, you made life intolerable for pupils at school and people at work by your remarks, which were widely reported at the time of the trial.

Betty Campbell Cardiff councillor for Butetown Loudoun Square, Butetown, Cardiff
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Title Annotation:Letters
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 10, 2003
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