Police officer Alex Macfarlane, 54, has been dismissed without notice over an incident in 2011 in which he was recorded telling a detained man that he “will always be a nigger”.
Macfarlane was fired by the Metropolitan Police for gross misconduct after the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) recommended his dismissal.
Mauro Demetrio was arrested by Macfarlane in 2011 during the London riots, and when he was held in the police van he recorded the conversation between him and the officer in which Macfarlane can be heard telling the arrested man:
The problem with you is you will always be a nigger… You’ll always have black skin. Don’t hide behind your colour.
The former police officer was taken to court in 2012 but eventually allowed to walk free after the jury couldn’t come to a decision on his verdict.
IPPC Commissioner Jennifer Ikezor said:
This was a particularly disturbing case which caused offence to Mr Demetrio and rightly outraged the community.
PC MacFarlane’s dismissal from the Metropolitan Police Service sends a very clear message that using this kind of language is not acceptable and can never be justified.
I have grave concerns about what was said in the police van that day and am extremely worried that an officer of PC MacFarlane’s experience would think it appropriate to use words like ‘nigger’ and refer to a man’s ‘black skin’ in this way when he has responsibility for policing London’s diverse communities.
While it is fortuitous in this case that this recording exists we have concerns that similar incidents are often not dealt with so effectively because complainants do not have such irrefutable evidence.
OK, so it isn’t exactly a criminal punishment but at least he’s lost his job; surely that’ll teach him a lesson, right? Or do you think that two years later, his dismissal is an action that’s too little too late?
As always, let us know your views in the comments below.