Tuesday 22 January 2019
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huffingtonpost - 3 month ago

Police Search Address Where Sick Grenfell Effigy Stunt Took Place

Police investigating an offensive video showing a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire have begun searching an address in south London.Three officers from the Metropolitan Police carried evidence bags into the terrace property in South Norwood.The force said it was questioning five men who handed themselves in on Monday night.They are a 19-year-old, a 46-year-old and a 49-year-old, all from South Norwood, a 49-year-old from Lambeth and a 55-year-old from Beckenham.The 19-year-old has been named as Bobbi Connell by his grandfather as one of the men in the video and the 46-year-old, his father Cliff.The teenager s grandfather David Connell told the MailOnline: It s an appalling thing to do given the tragic loss of life. It s in dreadfully bad taste and utterly shocking and I don t condone it at all. I don t know what they were thinking. Footage emerged on Monday showing the cardboard effigy marked Grenfell Tower with paper figures at the windows being set on fire as people congregated, laughing.The stunt has caused widespread outrage.Theresa May tweeted: To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable. I legit cannot believe it. This group of people made a Grenfell tower replica for bonfire night. This is actually sickening. Man are giggling you know! Cant this be considered some form of hate crime or something. #Vex@grenfellinquirypic.twitter.com/AFI1OExyVn Gracious K (@Graciouskisay) November 5, 2018The South Norwood home, which is registered to 49-year-old Clifford Smith, was searched by police officers.After leaving the house, officers searched bins under the front window and also knocked on neighbours doors.Evidence of a fire could be seen in the back garden of the house as well as an England flag. A similar flag was visible behind the Grenfell model in the video.It is understood that all five men were being questioned at Croydon Custody Centre.The chairman of the public inquiry into the fire, Sir Martin Moore-Bick, called the video offensive as he opened Tuesday s hearing.He said: The inquiry is aware of the offensive video that was posted online yesterday. It must be shocking and distressing to all those involved whatever form their involvement took, whether as bereaved, survivors or indeed members of the wider community. I am very pleased to hear that the authorities are taking the matter very seriously and that an investigation is under way. London Fire Brigade Commissioner Dany Cotton, who was at the scene of the fatal fire, condemned the disturbing clip. This is an appalling and disturbing video, she said. To intentionally use and mock the Grenfell Tower fire in this way will cause deep pain and offence to the bereaved, survivors, the local community and all of the emergency services who will never forget that night. It cannot be justified on any level. Justice 4 Grenfell, a campaign group honouring the victims, condemned the move as a sickening act of hate . We are disgusted and shocked at the inhumanity and callousness of those involved in this video. This was an unnecessary sickening act of hate against those who, through no fault of their own, have experienced the worst since 14th June 2017. This is clearly a hate crime and as a society we should never tolerate these types of blatant acts of hatred. A total of 72 people were killed in the blaze at the west London tower block in June 2017.

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