Police watchdog apologises after 'racist abuse' case collapses


A police watchdog has apologised after a misconduct case against three officers accused of racist treatment of an off-duty firefighter collapsed.

Edric Kennedy-Macfoy was trying to help the officers identify a teenager who had thrown a rock at a police van in September 2011, but it was claimed that he was then Tasered and insulted by the Scotland Yard officers.

Firearms officer Pc Mark Gatland was accused of using unreasonable force and firing his Taser without warning, being motivated by racial discrimination and/or racial stereotyping.

Pc Daniel Roberts, from Westminster Borough, and Insp Sutinderjit Mahil, based in Ealing, were accused of using abusive and offensive language, again motivated by racial discrimination and/or racial stereotyping.

But on Wednesday the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) withdrew its case after "procedural shortfalls" emerged.

A spokeswoman said: "The IPCC has withdrawn its recommendation and directions for three Metropolitan Police officers attending a misconduct hearing in relation to their interactions with Edric Kennedy-Macfoy in 2011.

"We recognise the effect this will have had on both Mr Kennedy-Macfoy and the officers involved, and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to them.

"The withdrawal follows procedural shortfalls identified by the IPCC.

"They related to disclosure of relevant material and the need for further investigative work, including witness interviews, which it became clear were not conducted during the investigation.

"If the IPCC were to remedy those shortfalls, we were informed that a further hearing could not take place for at least 12 months.

"It is the IPCC's view that further delays are not acceptable, given the time since the original incident."

The move came after the watchdog had rejected Scotland Yard's internal probe into what happened, and launched its own inquiry, recommending that the three officers face action over alleged gross misconduct. 

If proved, this would have meant the sack.