05:48 GMT17 June 2021
Listen Live
    UK
    Get short URL
    by
    164
    Subscribe

    One man has been charged with "conspiracy to murder’" following the shooting of Sasha Johnson, a Black Lives Matter activist dubbed the "Black Panther of Oxford."

    No witnesses from a birthday party, where black rights campaigner Sasha Johnson was shot in the head on 23 May, have come forward to give a statement, the Metropolitan Police told the Evening Standard. Johnson, 27, remains in a critical condition in hospital. 

    She suffered “profound life-changing injuries” during a “melee” after four armed men broke into a silent disco party in a back garden in Peckham, London, according to the police. Some people claim the BLM activist could have been targeted for her campaign work.

    In this Saturday, June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London
    © AP Photo / Alberto Pezzali
    In this Saturday, June 13, 2020 file photo Sasha Johnson, of the Black Lives Matter movement attends a protest at Hyde Park in London

    The police said in late May that there was “nothing to suggest” this was the case but the investigation still continues.  

    Met Police Detective Chief Inspector Richard Leonard urged those who were at the party – around 30 people – “to make contact” with the authorities to tell them what they know.

    “It is vital that we gather as much information as possible to establish what happened in the early hours of that Sunday morning and why,” DCI Leonard said.

    According to the chief inspector, the police officers who first arrived on the scene witnessed “a hugely chaotic situation,” as partygoers were “incredibly upset and in shock.” The officers are now trying to identify those present using footage filmed by their body cameras. 

    A police officer guards the area after Sasha Johnson, a BLM activist, was shot in an early morning attack near her home in Peckham, London, Britain, May 24, 2021
    © REUTERS / HANNAH MCKAY
    A police officer guards the area after Sasha Johnson, a BLM activist, was shot in an early morning attack near her home in Peckham, London, Britain, May 24, 2021

    DCI Leonard said that the Johnson’s mother Ellet Dalling is “devastated” by the incident.

    “She is with Sasha every day and is struggling to understand why this has happened,” Leonard said.

    Dalling has also made a public appeal for witnesses to come forward and share information with the police about her daughter’s shooting.

    "What has happened to Sasha has left us devastated. She is currently fighting for her life in hospital with two children asking where their mummy is, what do I tell them?” she told reporters.

    "Someone must have information to what happened and to come forward. Sasha is passionate about standing up for others, please come forward and stand up for Sasha,” Dalling urged.

    "Come forward to help us, I know it is not always easy but imagine if it was your daughter or the mother of your children. I believe there are people out there that can help."

    On 26 May, five men were arrested in relation to the incident but four were later released on bail to re-appear in the court later. One person, 18-year-old Cameron Deriggs, was charged with conspiracy to murder. On 29 May he appeared at Westminster Magistrates' Court but did not give an indication of plea, the Daily Mail reports.

    Deriggs is set to appear in the criminal court on 25 June, possibly via video link, for confirmation of his plea, Prosecutor Carol Udenze said.

    “This offence happened on May 23 at an address where a lady was shot in the head and another person was shot in the foot - this was at a house party. The crown's case is that the defendant in agreement with others conspired to murder somebody at that address,” the prosecutor was quoted as saying.

    Johnson, an Oxford Brookes University graduate and prominent BLM member, founded Taking The Initiative campaign that launched last year.

    Tags:
    shooting, Black Lives Matter, United Kingdom
    Community standardsDiscussion