A Petition Has Been Started To Seek Justice For Julian Cole

A Petition Has Been Started To Seek Justice For Julian Cole

June 11, 2020

A petition has been started calling for justice for Bedford University student Julian Cole who was left with a broken neck and severe spinal injuries after being "taken to the ground" by bouncers and then Bedfordshire Police when they arrested him outside of a Bedford nightclub in 2013. Those injuries left Cole paralysed and suffering severe brain damage.

Although three police officers have since been sacked after a misconduct hearing in 2018 found they lied about Cole's condition during the arrest, none have faced criminal charges. Despite the officers' dismissal, the police claim there is no evidence they were to blame for his injuries. A spokesperson for the Crown Prosecution Service has also said that two reviews found that "our legal test to proceed with prosecution was not met".

In addition to finding that officers lied about Cole's condition when they arrested him, it was also found that Cole's alcohol level was below the legal limit to drive and there was no mention of any drugs involved. CCTV footage showed Cole cuffed "face down" before being dragged to a police van as his legs trailed behind him. He was first taken to a police station and then transferred to hospital.

The petition, which has already been signed over 135,000 times, was started by Zayneb Benyoucef who said she felt compelled to do so after watching George The Poet talk about the case on Newsnight. "My Block" by Che Lingo, who worked with Cole at a footwear shop 10 years ago, also highlighted the case.

"I was captivated by Julian's story and was shocked there were no convictions," 19-year-old Benyoucef said. "The petition is about justice and holding people accountable. A lot of people are touched by his story. It gives me hope that we can make a difference.

"Julian can't tell his story, so we need to do it for him," she added.

You can sign the petition here.

Words: James Keith