Recently, a couple of individuals, including Ruth Lovell, the mother of Ambrose Ball (deceased), have made accusations against Stafford Scott, a staff member at The Monitoring Group, and coordinator of Tottenham Rights. Some of the accusations are derogatory and personal in nature and therefore completely unjustified and unacceptable. There is also a You Tube video that falsely alleges Stafford Scott ‘bullying’ a grieving mother (Ruth Lovell) at a public meeting held in Tottenham on 15 December 2015, and countless tweeting.
The Monitoring Group was established in 1980. It is a community led anti racist Charity and initiated and supported hundreds of family led campaigns where a loved one have been killed by State neglect or violence; and advised thousands of individuals suffering from State racism or racial violence. Many of our staff, volunteers and management Committee themselves been victims of State misconduct and racial violence. Their experience has led them to become protagonists for community empowerment and change.
Since our inception over three and half decades ago, we have never been placed in a situation where we had to respond in this way. But the criticisms are so unfair and irrational that they require a response.
Our decision to rebut the accusations is based on the following factors:
- Those making the accusations have neither made a complaint nor made any attempt to contact us to explain their concerns, and as a consequence neither, we or more specifically, Stafford, have been given an opportunity to address the problem before it was aired on social media
- The accusations against Stafford Scott are not only unfounded and unjustified but are meant to discredit him and the work he does in Tottenham. Stafford Scott, like some of the individuals working in our sector, has been at the sharp end of racism and racist policing. He is passionate and committed to holding authorities to account, sometimes at the cost of personal sacrifice. Their credibility is the only effective tool of their trade and, therefore, it has to be protected in the face of unfounded accusations.
Ambrose Ball (deceased)
Very briefly, we became involved with Mr. Ball’s case in March 2015, when a friend of the family contacted us and urged us to help the family. Our initial promise to the family was to (a) help them gain as much as information as possible so that an assessment could be made on the nature, strength or weakness of the ongoing police investigation and (b) force the police to do more so that Mr. Ball could be located (as he was deemed missing); and then after Mr. Ball’s body was discovered (c) to gain and asses all the evidence so that conclusions could be reached on how he may have died; and (d) if a third party was responsible for Mr. Ball’s death, we would force the police or the IPCC to conduct a thorough criminal investigation.
In order to achieve these aims, we managed to arrange:
- 3 formal and substantial case conferences between the most senior officers responsible for police investigation, the family and us whilst the investigation was ongoing. The case conferences were organized to allow the family (and us) to ask any questions we wanted and to raise any problems that we wished to.
- for the family to view all available CCTV footage at our offices
- our own visits to site where Mr. Ball was found before and after his body was found and trace the probable car journey and visit the crash site on 2 occasions
- a solicitor to represent the family at the Inquest proceedings
The case conferences also examined all the possibilities of how Mr. Ball died, including Ruth Lovell’s three assertions:
- his friends who were with him on the last night killed him;
- the police killed him;
- and finally someone other than his friends or the police killed him.
From the information and evidence that we heard, viewed and examined, it is our view that none of the above propositions are reasonable. However, that doesn’t mean that the initial police investigation was faultless. Despite our view we continued to help and assist Ruth Lovell.
Ruth Lovell is a grieving mother. We understand her trauma and as a consequence, in addition to the advocacy support, we also offered her specialized trauma support so that she would get stronger.
Unfortunately grief alone cannot account for all her behavior, especially towards Stafford Scott who has used all his influence to help her unconditionally. Unfortunately and sadly, at different times, Ruth Lovell has criticised and abused everyone, including those who have been close to her and had no connections with the State. Many of these people have had no other motive but to support a grieving mother..
The meeting was specifically organized to scrutinse the specific local police and IPCC response to the killing of Jermaine Baker, the latest shooting in Tottenham, in December last year.
A staff member of The Monitoring Group did approach Ruth Lovell to explain that, although she would be made welcome at the meeting, any form of personal verbal abuse from her against Stafford Scott and others at the meeting would not be acceptable.
There has to be a moment when the abuse has to stop. We hope that this partial rebuttal will end the unjustified tirade. If it doesn’t we will not hesitate to take further advice to protect our credibility.
The Monitoring Group
14 January 2016
This statement was initially drafted on 14 January 2016 but not publicised. We are hoping the abuse would stop.
You can download a pdf version below
A statement from the Monitoring Group (pdf)