Six white police officers have taken the Metropolitan Police to an employment tribunal accusing Scotland Yard of political correctness and racial discrimination, a case which may set a dangerous precedent for other white officers to use this tactic and turn the Macpherson Inquiry on its head.
The six officers were members of the Territorial Support Group, and one of the officers was accused of assaulting Arab teenagers in West London. Another was accused of threatening behaviour, and the remaining four were accused of covering up the incident.
The complaint was made by a black police officer who was a member of the unit and gave evidence against the six officers, however the six officers were cleared at the trial at Kingston Crown Court in 2009.
Bill Wilson, the sergeant who led the team told the BBC: (White officers accuse Metropolitan Police of racism: 17 October, 2011)
“I am convinced that there was a panic. It was a black officer making an allegation against six white officers. If it had been a white officer making that allegation, then the matter would have been dealt with in-house there and then. That would have been the end of it. If there is any allegation by any black or ethnic minority person against white police officers, they have gone in completely the opposite direction to the point where it is actually the white officers getting discriminated against. I think they are terrified of this label of institutional racism and they are terrified of being accused of not taking a black officer’s allegations seriously because that could be twisted round to say they are ignoring him because he is an ethnic minority officer. It’s political correctness gone mad.”
The six white officers place the blame on the Macpherson Inquiry in 1999, which looked into the death of Stephen Lawrence, who was murdered by a gang of white racists in April 1993.
The white officers claim that the sweeping reforms in the police force following the Macpherson Inquiry has led to them being treated unfairly.
Whitewashing the Macpherson Inquiry
In a fair society, all citizens should be treated equally, but the Macpherson Inquiry revealed that the police force was, and to a large extent still is institutionally racist. The six officers were cleared of the charges brought against them but they claim to have been sidelined from the force since their trial. Yet to attack the Macpherson Inquiry, which was the foundation from which black and minority ethnic police officers had to be taken seriously, is highly suspicious.
Bill Wilson claims that the police force is afraid to treat white police officers fairly since the Macpherson Inquiry, but the evidence disputes his belief.
In May 2010, Superintendent Paul Wilson, took the police force to an employment tribunal after he was sidelined for promotion following a damning report he wrote exposing racism in the force. (Read Police force rocked again after senior black officer claims racism)
In the same article I wrote about the Metropolitan Black Police Officers Association (BPA), who in October 2008 boycotted drives to recruit new officers from black and minority ethnic communities because of what they described as “a hostile atmosphere where racism is allowed to spread.”
More disturbingly, the London Evening Standard reported on September 22, 2008, that members of the BPA feared that they were being spied upon by their colleagues and had to take measures to make sure offices were not bugged and phones tapped.
In February 2009, Cindy Butts, a Police Authority member, chaired an investigation into a number of race claims against the police force. She said that while there has been improvements in the number of black and minority ethnic police officers recruited in the force, there are still ‘substantial problems’ in regards to the treatment of black and minority ethnic officers
On May 23 2009, a Daily Telegraph report revealed that West Yorkshire Police was under investigation into its disciplinary procedures after accusations of racism against ethnic minority officers.
The claims was outlined in a dossier leaked to the Sunday Telegraph and focused on the Professional Standards Department (PSD), which investigates other officers within the force.
The dossier cited evidence that ethnic minority officers were punished more harshly than white officers for the same offence. One Muslim officer claimed that he was asked by a senior officer to get a “bacon buttie” during Ramadan when he was fasting. Another Muslim officer said that he was called a “terrorist” by a senior officer because he was carrying a rucksack.
The dossier also revealed that evidence against ethnic minority officers was fabricated.
This was followed by a National Police Racism press release, a new website founded by black and ethnic minority police officers who were tired of police corruption and racism being swept under the carpet. (Read New website exposes police corruption and racism)
The website exposes a culture of racism and corrupt practices.
The website also portrays the story of a unique award winning black ex-West Yorkshire Police Officer who began his career by serving both Queen and Country at the age of 16 by joining the British Army. Following a successful career in the Army David Blair joined West Yorkshire Police and served his community for 17 years during which he was awarded with Commendations for saving a drowning man and for an investigation which led to the confiscation of an arsenal of guns and ammunition. This officer was falsely arrested when on sick leave having previously raised a grievance for racial discrimination. He attempted to commit suicide by throwing himself of a bridge. West Yorkshire Police did not help him through this difficult time. The Officer was later cleared at Court but was still dismissed by the force after the Professional Standards Department falsified evidence against him.
Unfortunately, the website is currently down, but is has been reported previously that West Yorkshire Police tried to quietly close down the NPR website. (Read West Yorkshire Police Attempts to cover up Racism!)
On Tuesday, 11 October, 2011, the Yorkshire Post (Ex-policeman in line for £1m damages at Leeds hearing) reported that former police officer Sultan Alam could be set for a £1 million payout from the police force, after he was wrongly prosecuted and convicted of handling stolen goods in 1996, for which he served 9 months in prison.
In 2003, four police officers involved in Mr Alam’s prosecution were charged with conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and other offences, but were acquitted.
Mr Alam was the target of a malicious campaign to destroy him and his career after he brought racial discrimination charges against a senior officer in 1993.
The pattern appears to be the same, if a black or minority ethnic police officer complains of racism, their career is not only under threat, but they can end up the victim of malicious set-ups by police officers in the force.
This is the reality of many black and minority ethnic police officers in the police force, and it not one of privilege as suggested by Bill Wilson and his colleagues. There is no culture of fear towards black and minority ethnic officers as suggested by Bill Wilson and his colleagues.
By attacking the Macpherson Inquiry, these white officers are attacking the attempt to establish racial equality in the police force. Was the death of Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson Inquiry following it all in vain?
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