Kenny Imafidon was arrested under the controversial ‘joint enterprise’ law. After six months behind bars, his case was thrown out. Now 30, he has written a breathtaking memoir about his early years, acquittal – and what can be done to change the system.

Kenny Imafidon. We’re arresting you for the murder of…” After that, sound faded. To the teenage boy these words were directed at, everything that followed was incomprehensible white noise. In what felt like slow motion, Imafidon stood, frozen to the floor of his temporary Islington flat, as a team of plain-clothed police officers pushed their way past him. One read out his rights, while the others threw his belongings into evidence bags: the laptop that barely half an hour earlier he had been writing a college essay on; clothes, seemingly at random; his mobile phone. Few people even knew where he was staying, having recently relocated north of the Thames to get away from the escalating street violence that had been playing out closer to home. Just minutes earlier, he’d been talking on the phone to a friend back in Peckham, making plans for his upcoming 18th birthday celebrations. Now, he was in handcuffs, being led outside and into a waiting unmarked police vehicle, unsure if or when he’d return. He was terrified and he was panicking. Mostly, though, he was baffled. It simply made no sense.

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