Grenfell Tower survivor group responds to arrests over bonfire model: ‘Even racists are entitled to a fair trial’
Activists keen not to 'jeopardise any future prosecution process'
A group representing survivors of the Grenfell Tower fire has said it trusts authorities to investigate the burning of a cardboard model of the high-rise, adding “even racists are entitled to a fair trial”.
Justice for Grenfell called a video of the incident “grotesque” and described those involved as ”despicable”, but said it would be careful about commenting further so as not to “jeopardise any future prosecution process”.
Five men have been arrested after footage circulated of the cardboard construction burning in front of a laughing crowd.
The words “Grenfell Tower” are scrawled on the model, which also features brown paper figures at its windows.
People watching can be heard shouting “stay in your flats” – a reference to the advice given to families on the night of the fire, which killed 72 people.
The five men, aged between 19 and 55, were arrested on suspicion of a public order offence and taken into custody after handing themselves in at a south London police station.
Responding to development, Justice for Grenfell said in a statement: “Public outrage regarding their behaviour and the gravity of what they did demonstrates that these acts of hatred will not be tolerated and have no place in our society,
“Our thoughts and prayers are focused on the bereaved families and survivors who have been further traumatised by such a heinous video; especially at this time when many of them are giving evidence to the Grenfell public Inquiry.
The group added: “We leave it to the police and Crown Prosecution Service to look at the evidence and investigate this thoroughly.
"We do not want to jeopardise any future prosecution process; so are making no further comment on any charges that these despicable perpetrators may face.”
Prime Minister Theresa May has called the video “utterly unacceptable”.