Netflix’s ‘Nail Bomber: Manhunt’ explores the world of fascism by delving deep into the 1999 London nail bombings — a series of explosions directed at the minorities — and the search for the criminal mastermind behind them. After three consecutive weekends saw homemade nail charges being set off, the Metropolitan Police Anti-Terrorist Branch apprehended Neo-Nazi militant and extremist David Copeland. However, as we see in this film, if they had released his CCTV image beforehand, there is a possibility that the third and final bomb would have never been detonated. And the one person who said this the most was Mike Franklin.
Who is Mike Franklin?
Having grown up around the Brixton area and experienced the 1981 riots, the stop and search tactic, and the ingrained divide between the police and his community for years, Mike Franklin knew that something had to be done about the bombings from the get-go. While the law enforcement officials were careful not to jump to conclusions, he instinctively knew that these were racist, hate crimes. Thus, being a member of the community police consulting group, Mike subsequently started to work directly with those inspecting this matter.
After the second bomb went off at Brick Lane and a grainy CCTV image of the suspected perpetrator, who was really David Copeland, came to light, Mike said he had several arguments with inspectors regarding whether it should be released to the public. They believed it was inclusive, whereas Mike felt that if it were a member of someone’s family, they’d identify him. Then, when they refused, he stated, “Well, while you’re prevaricating, the bomber is preparing the next bomb. It’s urgent. Put it out.” And Mike was right — someone recognized him as soon as an image was released days later, but it was already too late.
Where is Mike Franklin Now?
Following David Copeland’s conviction for his offenses, Mike Franklin gave his own views on the subject. “I think someone like Copeland,” he said in the documentary movie, “someone trying to do what Copeland did, will never succeed. What gives me hope is that there are still more good people than bad people. And in the long term, the haters can never win. It must be horrible to be consumed with hate, you know? Think about all the things you can’t enjoy ’cause you’re full of hate.” So, it’s no surprise that Mike continues to live with a positive mindset to this day.
With decades of experience as an advocate, inspector, and committee member for racial harassment groups, Mike is currently not only serving as an Independent Member of the Ministry of Defense Police Committee, but he is also the Director of Equality and Inclusion at NHS England. Moreover, he is the Non-Executive Director for the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, a post he’s held since May 2016. Still residing in London, England, it seems like Mike has dedicated his entire life towards ensuring that his community becomes a safe space for everyone.
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