The grieving mother of two women who were stabbed to death in a park in London has today slammed the ‘toxic’ Met Police after two officers were accused of taking selfies next to the bodies of her daughters.
Mina Smallman says the accused officers ‘dehumanised’ her murdered daughters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry by taking the selfies – which are believed to have been shared with members of the public.
Ms Smallman, 27, and Ms Henry, 46, were found stabbed to death at Fryent Country Park in Wembley, north-west London, in the early hours of June 6.
No-one has been arrested in relation to their deaths.
But the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has since launched an investigation into the alleged selfie-taking, two officers have been suspended and both have been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in public office.
Speaking to the BBC, grieving Mrs Smallman said: ‘(When I found out about their deaths) All I remember is letting out a howl that came from the bottom of my soul, that’s the only way I can describe it.
Mina Smallman (pictured) says the accused officers ‘dehumanised’ her murdered daughters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry by taking the selfies – which are believed to have been shared with members of the public
Speaking to the BBC, grieving Mrs Smallman said: ‘(When I found out about their deaths) All I remember is letting out a howl that came from the bottom of my soul, that’s the only way I can describe it
Nicole Smallman (left) and Bibaa Henry (right) were last seen dancing to music with fairy lights around 1am on June 6 after celebrating Bibaa’s birthday with friends in Fryent Country Park
‘The lead person said “I don’t know how to tell you this but police officers were taking selfies and posing for pictures with your dead daughters”.
‘Those police officers dehumanised our children.’
She added: ‘If ever we needed an example of how toxic it has become, those police officers felt so safe, so untouchable, that they felt they could take photographs.’
Scotland Yard said its directorate of professional standards was told last week about allegations that ‘non-official and inappropriate photographs’ had been taken at the murder scene.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) said the pictures were allegedly ‘shared with a small number of others’, adding that the Met was ‘handling matters involving those members of the public who may have received those images’.
Mrs Smallman also claimed the police did not immediately respond to initial reports that the sisters were missing, adding that she coordinated a search operation on the weekend they died – claiming she ‘knew instantly they didn’t care’ due to their race.
The IOPC is separately investigating how the Met handled calls from worried family and friends of the sisters after they went missing.
Both her daughters had been out celebrating Ms Henry’s 46th birthday at Fryern Country Park on the evening of June 5 when they were killed.
Allegations emerged last week that ‘non-official and inappropriate photographs’ had been taken at the murder scene. Pictured, forensic officers at the scene
A MailOnline map shows where police were called to at around 1pm on June 7 to a report of two women found unresponsive
Bibaa (right), from Brent in north-west London, was an ‘exceptional’ senior social worker and Nicole (left) from Harrow, the youngest of three sisters, ‘saw beauty in everything’
Detectives investigating their deaths believe they were repeatedly stabbed by a stranger, possibly in the early hours of June 6.
Their bodies were not found until the following day, by Nicole’s boyfriend, while their phones were recovered from a nearby pound, which showed the pair dancing with fairy lights shortly before they were murdered.
Met Police Commissioner Dame Cressida Dick said on Friday: ‘My heart goes out to the family.
‘In relation to the allegations about a photograph, I am dumbfounded. I am appalled.’
Police previously released pictures of senior social worker Ms Henry, from Brent in north-west London, and photographer Ms Smallman dancing with the fairy lights before they were murdered.
Police released images taken of Bibaa Henry, 46, and Nicole Smallman, 27, prior to their murders which they believe could assist with appeals (pictured, dancing with fairy lights)
Their killer is thought to have suffered a ‘significant injury’ during the attack before he left the park via its Valley Drive entrance.
The sisters are thought to have ended up alone in the park by around 12.30am on June 6, and police said they were in ‘good spirits’ and ‘taking selfie pictures, listening to music and dancing with fairy lights’ until at least 1.13am.
Their last contact with friends and family was about 1.05am, police said.