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Second teenager charged over London shooting of BLM activist

LONDON (AP) — A second teenager appeared in court Saturday on a charge of conspiracy to murder over the shooting in south London last month of Sasha Johnson, a prominent member of the Black Lives Matter movement in the U.K.

The Metropolitan Police said 18-year-old Devonte Brown was charged on Friday evening. He appeared at Westminster Magistrates’ Court and was remanded into custody with an order to appear at the Old Bailey courthouse on July 7.

Johnson, a mother of two, was shot in the head at a house party in Peckham in the early hours of May 23 when four men burst into the party and began firing,, witnesses told police. She remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Police previously said that Johnson appeared to have been an unintended victim of the shooting.

Five male suspects were arrested three days after the incident, and four of them were released on bail until a date in late June. The fifth, 18-year-old Cameron Deriggs, was subsequently charged with conspiracy to murder Johnson.

Along with participating in Black Lives Matter, Johnson was a leader of the Taking the Initiative Party, which said she had received “numerous death threats” related to her activism. The party focuses on combatting discrimination, rising inequality and child poverty.

Britain, like many countries, has faced an uncomfortable reckoning with race since the death of George Floyd, the Black American man who was killed in May 2020 by a Minneapolis police officer who knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.

Black Lives Matter protests swept the U.K., with activists urging the government to face up to the legacy of the British Empire and the country’s extensive profits from the slave trade.

The Associated Press