The grieving family of a ‘completely innocent’ murdered black man has accused the Metropolitan Police of not taking the matter seriously after failing to make a single arrest in the 12 years since his murder.
Relatives of Errol McKenzie, 37, who was shot dead in east London, told Metro they are appalled by what they describe as a series of flaws in the case, and believe racism may be a factor in detectives’ attitudes.
It comes after the former British Rail employee was shot in the chest late one night in April 2010 on the Seymour Road playing fields near his home in Leyton.
At the time, police described Errol as a “completely innocent victim” and that there was “no apparent motive” for anyone to want him dead.
A £20,000 reward for information was later offered – but since then officers appear to have done little else to solve the case, it is alleged.
After pressure from the family, police issued a renewed request for information in April – but were shocked to discover that the appeal contained CCTV footage that had never been released before and that family members had not previously been informed about.
The stills include images of a group of youths in the area and another of a man on a bicycle who detectives believe may have information about the murder.
Mr McKenzie’s daughter, Nicole, said the 12-year delay in releasing the CCTV was just the latest in a long string of police failures.
She told Metro.co.uk: ‘The police have not told me or my family about the men or the cyclist… they have not told us about these people and have not shown us these photos before.
“I am very upset. I don’t trust the police to take my and my family’s suffering into account.’
She added: “We are fed up and we feel that because of our ethnic background the police are not taking this case seriously.
“My family needs to be shut down by getting this person who did this to my dad, and we don’t need more stress to handle this from the police.”
The family is also suspicious of why detectives from the Met’s Operation Trident were assigned to investigate the case. The specialist unit often focuses on gang crime, despite police acknowledging there was ‘no indication’ that Mr McKenzie was part of it.
The Corps has insisted that Operation Trident investigate all gun-related murders at the time.
The family filed a formal complaint against the Met for the handling of the case, but their concerns were dismissed.
An internal investigation concluded there were ‘no organizational shortcomings’, even though one of the officers originally involved in the case was not interviewed as they have since left the force. The family speaks.
A Scotland Yard spokesperson defended the decision to delay the release of the CCTV footage, telling Metro.co.uk: “In any murder case, investigating officers must strike a balance between the need to keep the family informed and the integrity of protect the investigation, should one eventually be charged and brought to trial.
“A dedicated family liaison officer is on hand to keep Errol’s family informed when needed.”
Police also said: “The investigation into his murder has been opened and the police are continuing to investigate and are continuing all lines of inquiry… It is not accurate to suggest that the ethnicity of Errol or his family has had any influence on the police investigation.’
Anyone with information is urged to call the police on 020 8345 3775 quoting ‘Op Trocha’, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. The £20,000 reward for information is still available.
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