Apologies for the lengthened hiatus. Other projects took centre stage in the recent months, but hopefully we can pick up where we left off…
Today, there was a story in the papers about a 21-year-old black male who was assaulted by police. Luckily the man was able to record the ordeal via his phone, and the audio revealed both racist and physical abuse.
One officer can be heard saying ‘You know the problem with you is you will always be a nigger’. It appears the officer also strangled the man, kneeled on his chest and called him a ‘cunt’.
The incident happened the day after last summer’s riots. The man was stopped in his car before being taken into the police van, where he was subjected to the abuse.
Initially the the Independent Police Complaints Commission referred the case to the Crown Prosecution Service following a complaint. The case identified three police officers, who had potentially committed discriminatory offences.
The CPS dropped the case and ruled that the officers would have no charges brought against them.
It is now only being reviewed after the lawyers of the 21-year-old male threatened to challenge the ruling in High Court. With the damning evidence, it is clear that they have a strong case. Unfortunately, the case has highlighted a huge problem in dealing with police racism and abuse.
The incident happened in Beckton, London. There were eight officers, all from the Newham Borough (many officers were on the streets around this time due to the riots).
In light of this case, other Newham workers have come forward to say that incidents like these happen often, and are reported and complained about often. Luckily, in this case the victim was smart enough to record the ordeal on his phone.
The case is likely to leave a bad stain on the workings of the CPS, the police and Scotland Yard. To have taken a harsh approach to those involved in the riots, and then ignored the seriousness of this case, is worrying to say the least. But not altogether surprising.
Corruption and racism within the forces has long plagued the police. HIghlighted for years in the Stephen Lawrence case, which in 2012, finally saw the imprisonment of two people, 18 years after the racist murder of the black teenager in South London.
The acts and intervention of police are the first contact with the penal system in many cases. While it is important to say there are many officers who do their job well and without discrimination, there is still strong evidence of the ones that don’t. Furtherstill, there is evidence that these officers are protected by the Courts. Fatal for a justice system.
The full Guardian report and some of the recording can be heard here.