Black Lives Matter activist Sasha Johnson had been due in court on charges of racially abusing a police officer before she was shot in the head on Sunday, it has been revealed.
Johnson, the self-styled ‘Black Panther of Oxford’, had already appeared before Lavender Hill Magistrates’ Court in London on December 7th on one count of allegedly causing racially aggravated intentional harassment to an unnamed officer at a Reparations Day march in Brixton on August 1st, and was on bail pending a trial in April 2022, according to the Telegraph.
The activist, affiliated with the Taking the Initiative Party (TTIP), New Black Panther Party UK, and Black Lives Matter Oxford, remains in critical condition following her shooting at or near a house party attended by dozens of people in Southwark, London.
At present, the Metropolitan Police believe Johnson was injured after “a group of four black males dressed in dark coloured clothing entered the garden of the property and discharged a firearm”. Another individual is believed to have suffered a knife wound during the same incident.
Police have been at pains to “stress that at this time there is nothing to suggest Sasha was the victim of a targeted attack” and that they do not believe she was subject to any “credible” death threats prior to the shooting, angering the Taking the Initiative Party, where she has an executive leadership role.
“We believe that the police’s statement regarding Sasha not being the intended victim is an attempt to pacify the hundreds of thousands of people around the world that are infuriated by this attack,” railed one Charles Gordon, a founding member of the party, in comments quoted by the Telegraph.
“We are appalled by the dismissive tone of the Met Police statement and urge them to take this incident seriously and see it for what it is; an attempt of murder,” Gordon said, before casting aspersions on the description of the suspects as “four black males”.
“We have multiple sources present at the incident who have confirmed to us that the attackers were all wearing balaclavas,” Gordon claimed, asking: “How were the police able to ascertain that the attackers were four ‘black men’ if they have no footage and no evidence to support said conclusion?”
TTIP also suggested that “it appears as though the Met police are exercising damage control” by “insinuating” that the activism of Johnson and her party “is not the cause of this incident”, claiming that they “have no evidence to show otherwise”.
Some senior politicians have also, without evidence, suggested that Johnson may have been shot for her political activism, with Labour’s Diane Abbott tweeting: “Black activist #SashaJohnson in hospital in critical condition after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head. Nobody should have to potentially pay with their life because they stood up for racial justice” with the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter.
The Metropolitan Police have now arrested five people in connection with the incident, but as of the time of publication names and descriptions are being withheld. The force has again stressed that “At this early stage work continues to establish a motive but there is nothing to suggest that Sasha was the subject of a targeted attack.”