Black firefighter tasered as he tried to help police

By Agence France-Presse
Friday, April 20, 2012 7:11 EDT
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Scotland Yard gates via AFP
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A black firefighter has said he was assaulted, shot with a stun gun and arrested as he tried to help police while he was off-duty, in the latest racism allegation against Scotland Yard.

Edric Kennedy-Macfoy, 28, made a formal complaint after the incident in the early hours of September 4, in which he says he approached police who were dealing with a disturbance to give them a description of a youth he had seen throw a rock at a police van.

The group of six officers, who were dispersing partygoers — some of whom had turned violent — in Harrow, north London, assaulted and insulted Kennedy-Macfoy, according to his account, before deploying the electric shock weapon and detaining him without good cause.

Kennedy-Macfoy was charged with obstructing police, but found not guilty at Brent Magistrates’ Court in February.

The Guardian, which is campaigning on the issue of police racism, quoted Inspector David Bergum as saying in court: “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.”

The Metropolitan Police said that its Directorate of Professional Standards and the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) were both investigating. Kennedy-Macfoy’s lawyer sent a further complaint letter to the force this week.

The force confirmed it had received the complaint and said it had shut down a loud party of about 200 people on the day of the alleged incident.

“Some of those attending became hostile towards police and threw bottles and bricks at officers. Fourpolice officers received minor injuries,” a spokesman said.

“A man arrived at the scene by car and approached officers on the cordon. He was subsequently tasered. He did not require medical treatment.”

The complaint alleged that “officers arrested and detained a 28-year-old man without good cause, assaulted him during the arrest, that the officers were insulting and the way in which he was treated was motivated by factors relating to race,” the Met said.

The force has previously faced claims of institutional racism, most famously by a public inquiry into its treatment of the murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence in 1993. Two men were found guilty of his killing this year.

It currently faces 12 separate allegations of racism, which are under investigation by either Scotland Yard or the IPCC.

Agence France-Presse
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