April 28 – The head of the British police force at the centre of the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster has been suspended following this week’s sensational verdict that the 96 victims were unlawfully killed.
The move to suspend South Yorkshire Police Chief Constable David Crompton came after relatives and friends of those who perished in Britain’s worst ever sporting tragedy called for his resignation over his handling of the inquest hearings that lasted the best part of two years following the original verdict of accidental death being overturned.
Although he was not directly involved in the events that led to the disaster, a statement from South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Billings said he had been left with “no choice” but to suspend Crompton due to the “erosion of public trust and confidence” in the force. “I have reached this decision with a heavy heart.”
Crompton’s suspension came as politicians called for those responsible for police failings to be prosecuted amid accusations of a cover-up. Britain’s Shadow Home Secretary Andy Burnham said “those responsible must be held to account” saying the force had gone back on a public apology made in 2012.
“Millions of pounds of public money were spent retelling discredited lies,” Burnham charged. “Lawyers for retired officers threw disgusting slurs; those for today’s force tried to establish that others were responsible for the opening of the gate (that led to the fatal crush). If the police had chosen to maintain its apology, these inquests would have been much shorter.”
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