In an interview with the Evening Standard on Monday, Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard revealed that none of the 30 or so individuals present at a party on May 23, where Sasha Johnson received gunshots to the head, have spoken to police.
Leonard’s remarks, which were accompanied by a plea for people to come forward and give evidence to the police from Sasha’s mother, Ellet Dalling, have sparked an outcry on social media, with many Britons questioning whether her friends might be wise to drop the BLM group’s rejection of the police.
“We can guess at the reasons for silence” one person wrote but called on the revellers to tell the police what they know regardless of their affiliations, referencing Johnson’s campaign to defund the police as part of her BLM activism. Another tweet said: “Johnson’s mother says she can’t understand why this happened. Oh I think we can..!!”
Others were less concerned by the investigation but sought to highlight the irony that Johnson campaigned under the banner of Black Lives Matter but none of her friends have supported the police in finding her attackers when it was needed. “Wow, good friends ehhh?” one Twitter user wrote.
Many people blamed the BLM movement for hypocrisy, stating “I won’t bend my knee to these people.”
“Where are the ‘silence is violence’ brigade?” one person asked, adding that clearly her “friends don’t think HER life matters.” Another noted that the news that no one had provided evidence proves that “when it really comes down to it, black lives don’t really matter to these BLM folk. Not one bit.”
Among the mass of comments condemning Johnson’s friends for not coming forward, one Twitter user suggested that maybe the partygoers didn’t see anything and don’t have any evidence to give to the police. The user added that the police might also not be able to guarantee protection.
Monday’s revelation comes two weeks after Johnson, a 27-year-old mother of two, was shot while attending a silent disco in a London garden at 3am. Police have said that she was shot by a group of four black people but was not believed to be the target of the attack, but was caught in the crossfire of a gang war.
Johnson has undergone two operations to release pressure on her brain according to Leonard but “it’s still going to be a number of weeks before we know the full extent of the injury.”
One man, 18-year-old Cameron Deriggs, has been charged with conspiracy to murder but four other males, arrested after the shooting, were released on bail until late June.
Johnson is a prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement, who rose to prominence wearing trademark military uniforms and calling for the police to be defunded.
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