May 25 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
A Scotland Yard officer will appear in court today charged with racially abusing a suspect after the summer riots.
Pc Alex MacFarlane is accused of telling 21-year-old Mauro Demetrio: “The problem with you is you will always be a n*****, yeah?”.
Alison Saunders, chief prosecutor for London, charged him after a U-turn by prosecutors.
She said the original Crown Prosecution Service decision was “regrettable”, adding that a prosecution was necessary to maintain public confidence.
The charging decision hinged on mobile phone footage, allegedly taken by Mr Demetrio, from Beckton, east London, last August.
Mr Demetrio was held on suspicion of drug-driving but no action was taken.
The CPS announcement came after the police watchdog announced a review of a string of complaints about racism at the Metropolitan Police.
Ms Saunders said she had advised the Independent Police Complaints Commission to charge MacFarlane with a public order offence after the review.
She said: “When a review shows a previous decision not to prosecute is wrong, it is open to the CPS to rectify that error by bringing new proceedings.”
Met Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: “We have to let the criminal case take its course. I’m glad that it will be tested in court.”