The Crown Prosecution Service has discontinued the prosecution of Bianca Ali, co-founder of Cardiff Black Lives Matter, on the eve of her trial last week. Ms Ali faced charges following allegations that she organised a protest in breach of Welsh Coronavirus Regulations outside Cardiff Bay Police Station following the death of Mohamud Mohammed Hassan shortly after his release from the custody of South Wales Police.
Following the sudden death of Mr Hassan, members of the community gathered outside Cardiff Bay Police Station to protest about the circumstances surrounding his death and the role of South Wales Police. Ms Ali was given fixed penalty notices (FPNs) for alleged organisation of the gathering which she contested and proceedings were subsequently brought against her by the CPS. She denied being involved in organising the protest, although as a prominent member of the local community and the Black Lives Matter movement, she had attended and spoken at the protest. Her participation in the protest constituted a reasonable exercise of her right to protest, protected by Articles 10 and 11 of the European Convention on Human Rights, and was therefore a reasonable excuse for leaving home during lockdown. The prosecution was discontinued by the CPS on the eve of the trial.
Ms Ali was represented by Tim James-Matthews who was instructed by Bindmans LLP.