#JusticeForBellyMujinga: British Police Ending Investigation Into Death of Railway Worker
Mujinga, a Congolese-born railway worker, died of COVID-19 after being spat on by a man who said he was infected with the disease.
British Transport Police (BTS) say that no further action will be taken in the death of 47-year-old railway worker Belly Mujinga, who died of COVID-19 in April after being spat on by a man who said he was infected with the virus.
Authorities claim that after an extensive review, they found no evidence that criminal activity had caused her death. In a statement via Huffington Post, authorities say they reviewed CCTV footage and spoke with key witnesses in the case, and determined that no further action will be taken against a 57-year-old man from London who they interviewed in connection to the incident.
"Following a review of all the information, senior detectives have concluded that there is no evidence to substantiate any criminal offences having taken place, and that the tragic death of Belly Mujinga was not a consequence of this incident," said a spokesperson for BTS.
Mujinga died just fourteen days after the incident, in which her and another female colleague were spat on by a man claiming to have coronavirus while on duty at London's Victoria Station. Still, Detective Chief Inspector Sam Blackburn says police are "confident" that her death was not a consequence of the incident. "I know the loss of Belly has moved so many people, and I can assure you we have done everything we can to provide answers for her family," said Balckburn. "As a result of our enquiries, we can now be confident that this incident did not lead to Belly's tragic death. Our thoughts remain with her family and we will continue to support them as they come to terms with the loss of their much-loved mother and wife."
According to Mujinga's worker's union Transport Salaried Staffs Association (TSSA) she was left "extremely shaken" by the attack and later asked to be moved back into the tickets office instead of working outside on the concourse, however, her request was reportedly denied. It was known that Mujinga had a pre-existing health condition, and her family says that supervisors did not listen to her concerns.
Mujinga's death sheds light on the ways in which the pandemic has disproportionately affected people from Black, working class backgrounds in the UK. Black women make up a substantial number of essential workers who have been placed on the frontlines, and thus at greater risk of contracting the disease. According to a report from UNISON, the UK's largest public service union, "72% of all health and social care staff who have died with COVID-19 are Black."
Mujinga, who moved to the UK from the Democratic Republic of Congo in 2000 as a political refugee, is survived by her husband Lusamba Katalay and their 11-year-old daughter, Ingrid. Her family spoke to ITV Londonearlier this month about seeking answers in her unjust death.
Many online have expressed anger with the move to stop the investigation, given that Mujinga was purposely spat on by someone who admitted to having the deadly disease. Several are insisting that the incident be investigated further as murder or manslaughter.
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