London’s Metropolitan Police have found themselves at the center of another claim of racial profiling as a Black firefighter alleges he was assaulted by a group of officers and shot with a stun gun when he tried to assist officers while off duty.
Edric Kennedy-Macfoy, 28, claims that while out driving early on the morning of Sep. 4, 2011, he witnessed a young man throwing a rock at a nearby police vehicle. Kennedy-Macfoy, who is also a trained police constable (the lowest rank among British police), says he stopped to give the officers a description of the offender but was met with hostile language and then assaulted by six of the officers, shot with a stun gun and later arrested.
Kennedy-Macfoy says the officers behaved like “wild animals” during the altercation. He was later charged with obstructing police but was found not guilty.
Since he was cleared of the charges, investigators from both the Metropolitan Police's Directorate of Professional Standards and police watchdog the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) will proceed looking into what happened that morning. Kennedy-Macfoy lodged an official complaint against the officers immediately following the incident.
"The situation that my client has had to suffer has been horrific, not just in terms of the force that was used upon him during his arrest and subsequently being locked up in a police cell for many hours, but then having to face a prosecution, where if he had been found guilty he could have lost his job and it would have ruined his life,” said Kennedy-Macfoy's lawyer, Shamik Dutta, according to The Guardian.
Inspector David Bergum, who was present at the scene of Kennedy-Macfoy’s alleged abuse, said the officers were in a "stressful" situation and mistook Kennedy-Macfoy for a guest of a rowdy house party the police were attempting to shut down.
"I couldn't say he was anything to do with the party. The party was all black. He was black. He had driven through the cordon. I had to do a quick risk assessment,” Bergum said, according toThe Guardian.
Two of the officers named in the complaint are also Black.
This latest case of alleged racial profiling by London’s police is the 10th to be referred to the IPCC in the last three weeks.
“The IPCC is investigating a number of these cases — but IPCC investigations are not and will never be the only answer… The police must see all complaints as evidence of a potential problem, and address the systemic issues underlying the complaints they receive. This must involve an examination of culture, training, supervision and leadership,” IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said in a statement Monday in response to the influx of complaints.
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(Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)