- Hillsborough verdict – “victims unlawfully killed”
- Police failings were to blame
- Relatives call for senior officers to quit
- Criminal prosecutions could follow
Families of the 96 football fans who died as a result of a crush in the 1989 Hillsborough stadium disaster, are calling for senior police officers from the South Yorkshire force to resign.
It follows the conclusion reached by a two-year long inquest that the fans were unlawfully killed, and that the police were responsible.
Previous inquiries has decided the deaths were accidental. Police had blamed the tragedy on the supporters themselves, had told lies and staged a cover-up to hide mistakes in managing the crowd surging into the stadium for a popular FA Cup semi-final match between Liverpool and Nottingham Forest.
The previous “accidental deaths” verdicts were rejected by the victims families from the start and for the last 27 years they have battled to get to the truth.
Stephen Knight, brother of one victim spoke after the judgement:
“The 5 South Yorkshire police legal teams simply produced the denials of the past, blaming mythical, drunken, late, ticket-less fans for the deaths of our loved ones. For this central reason, we the 22 families call for the immediate resignation of David Crompton – the current South Yorkshire Chief Constable.”
Anne Burkett whose stepson died in the crush said:
“They (the police) sought to hide the truth not just from the bereaved, but from the public at large.”
“The fans have been totally vindicated, and the families have been victorious in everything they put forwards.” https://t.co/LilH14jH8j— This Is Anfield (@thisisanfield) April 26, 2016
Hillsborough was Britain’s worst sporting disaster and it unfolded live on national television in 1989. It is still an open wound in Liverpool where the victims came from.
It has taken nearly three decades for the families to receive justice. The inquest pointed to mistakes made by police and emergency services leading up to and in the aftermath of the tragedy. The “unlawful deaths” verdict opens the way for the DPP to consider whether criminal prosecutions should follow.