Nkencho family call for forum between gardaí and minority communities

Nkencho family call for forum between gardaí and minority communities

Gloria and Frank Nosike Nkencho speaking to the media in Clonee, Dublin, following a meeting with Justice Minister Helen Mc Entee. Picture: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

The family of George Nkencho have called for a forum to be established between gardai and minority communities following a meeting with the justice minister.

They have reissued calls for an independent inquiry into his death and highlighted concerns with the ongoing investigation by the Garda Siochána Ombudsman Commission (GSOC).

Mr Nkencho, 27, died outside his Dublin home in December after being shot multiple times by members of a Garda armed support unit while allegedly brandishing a knife.

Mr Nkencho was suffering from mental health issues at the time.

Speaking on Wednesday, his sister Gloria said: "We thank Minister [Helen] McEntee for agreeing to meet family members today.

We were very anxious to bring home to her the huge loss of my brother, George, and for my parents the devastating loss of their son and our burning need for justice and truth.

Ms Nkencho called for a forum to be set up between black and minority communities and gardaí.

She said it should "ensure any issues of racial bias are addressed, where the gardaí interact with and are accountable to the communities they serve".

The family have reiterated their calls for an independent inquiry into the killing.

They have raised a number of issues with the GSOC investigation, including an eight week delay in interviewing family members and that the garda who fired the shots remains on duty.

They also say gardaí told them George was shot five times, while their own autopsy concluded he was shot six times.

Gloria said: "All of these mean the GSOC investigation has already not met the standards of the European Court of Human Rights."

She said they believe the only way to get justice and truth is a properly resourced public inquiry into Garda actions that day.

His father, Frank Nosike Nkencho said: "Our family are traumatised and heartbroken by the shooting of George. Nothing can ever heal that.

The only thing that can bring any closure is for a full public investigation into George's killing.

"Any Garda being investigated should not still be working  — it pains us that the Garda who fired the shots that day has not been suspended while the investigation is on but still has access to police colleagues, computers etc.

"We never want to see such a tragedy happen to any family from any background ever again. We are a law-abiding, peaceful family rearing our children like everybody else.

"That is why we asked the Minister for a forum that meets with the black community regularly, deals with any issues of racism and prevents negative experiences."

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