The families’ determination made them a beacon for other campaigners. But while they forced the truth into the open, the courts let them down
The families of the 96 people unlawfully killed at Hillsborough as a result of gross negligence by the police fought for justice for more than three decades. The collapse of the trial of two former police officers and a solicitor, after a judge ruled that the men had no case to answer, marks a cruel end to one of the bravest and longest-lasting of all British justice campaigns. The institutions that between them make up the policing and legal system should be deeply ashamed. First, Hillsborough’s victims and survivors were blamed. Now, they have been let down yet again.
There have been many individual and organisational failures over the years, beginning with inadequate planning by the police and others for the FA Cup semi-final in Sheffield on 15 April 1989. The media, specifically the Sun newspaper which joined in with police efforts to smear the victims, 37 of whom were teenagers, are implicated in some of these.