London's Metropolitan police are at the centre of another set of awful racism allegations, the tenth in three weeks. Edric Kennedy-Macfoy is a black London fireman who trained as a police constable. While coming home late one night, dressed in a suit, he stopped to offer assistance to a policeman after seeing a young black man throw a rock at the officer's van. Before he could speak, he says the officer in the van shouted "Fuck off you prick" at him. He moved on to a line of police officers who were facing a group of unruly young people to offer his assistance to them and to complain about the abuse from the van-driver. Before he could speak to them, he says the officers shouted abuse at him, then pulled him bodily out of his car through the window. He says he showed the officers his empty hands and calmly repeated that he was a fireman offering assistance. He says the police demanded that nearby people stop recording the skirmish with their phones ("Turn those fucking cameras off"). Then he was tazed, without warning (a fact the officer who shot him does not contest).
Then it got worse. The police then arrested Kennedy-Macfoy and asked the prosecution service to prosecute him, which would have cost him his job if they'd been successful. When he complained, the police buried his paperwork and did not refer it to the independent complaints commission (they say it was an oversight). The firefighter says he only complained because the police sought to prosecute him, saying that he would have settled for an apology otherwise because "People make mistakes; you've got good cops and bad cops." When his case went to trial, several police gave testimony against him.
He says that he has a history of being pulled over by the police while driving his Audi ("Oh, you know, loads of these cars get stolen, so we just need to check you are who you say you are, blah blah blah") but that when his white co-worker borrows his car, he doesn't get pulled over.
Kennedy-Macfoy's solicitor, Shamik Dutta, of Bhatt Murphy solicitors, voiced concerns at his client's allegations, saying: "The question many people are bound to ask is why an off-duty firefighter, wearing a pinstriped suit and offering assistance to the police, should have been dragged from his car, shot with a Taser, locked up for many hours and then prosecuted for an offence he did not commit by the very officers he was trying to help.
"Our client now expects a comprehensive investigation which examines what role his race has had in the horrific events he has been forced to suffer."