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11:36am UK, Saturday March 31, 2012
A policeman has been suspended after he was allegedly recorded racially abusing a man arrested during the London riots.
It is claimed the Metropolitan Police officer was recorded by the suspect on his mobile phone as he was taken into custody.
I have considered the matter personally and directed that all of the evidence should be reconsidered and a fresh decision taken by a senior lawyer with no previous involvement in this matter.
Grace Ononiwu, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS in London
An initial decision not to charge the officer and two others is now being reviewed by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), following complaints from the 21-year-old man from Beckton’s lawyer.
The Guardian reports that the now-suspended officer can be heard in the recording telling the man: “The problem with you is you will always be a n*****, yeah? That’s your problem, yeah.
“You’ll always have black skin colour. Don’t hide behind your colour, yeah. Be proud. Be proud of who you are, yeah. Don’t hide behind your black skin.”
Grace Ononiwu, deputy chief crown prosecutor for the CPS in London, said: “Lawyers for the complainant have written to the CPS and asked us to review our decision.
“I have considered the matter personally and directed that all of the evidence should be reconsidered and a fresh decision taken by a senior lawyer with no previous involvement in this matter.”
The claims relate to an arrest during riots that swept the country last August
Another officer is also allegedly heard on the recording swearing at the man – who has not been named – and admitting to strangling him.
Shortly before the recording ends, the man can be heard saying: “I get this all the time,” and telling the officer: “Make sure you do a lot with your sixty grand, ‘cos you’re not going to get it no more, bruv.
He then tells the officer: “We’ll definitely speak again about this. It’s gonna go all the way, it’s gonna go all the way – remember.”
A Scotland Yard spokesman said the Independent Police Complaints Commission was investigating.
“We can confirm that the Metropolitan Police Service received a complaint alleging a man arrested on August 11 2011 was subjected to discriminatory behaviour (racial remarks); assault and oppressive conduct/or harassment,” he said.
“These are serious allegations; any use of racist language or excessive use of force is not acceptable. Following the alleged incident, three officers were the subject of a misconduct investigation.
“One of the officers has been suspended in relation to this matter pending the result of the IPCC investigation. One of the officers has been placed on restricted duties on an unrelated matter and another remains on full duties.”
The police officer’s solicitor said the decision not to prosecute was made following a “thorough, independent IPCC investigation”.
“We are not aware it is suggested any new evidence has come to light. It is difficult to see therefore on what proper basis the decision of the CPS can be challenged or reviewed,” he said in a statement.
“The decision to release selected parts of the evidence into the public domain in the present circumstances will have to be an additional factor to be taken into account by the CPS in any review, as the release of this evidence in this way clearly potentially prejudices any future trial of PC McFarlane.”