The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) have upheld our client’s appeal against police complaint findings, and expressed concern at police failure to appropriately investigate and accurately reflect in their recording of the complaint, the clear allegation of race discrimination made by our client.
Solicitor - Civil Litigation
The IOPC state that our client S’s specific points as to why he felt he was treated differently due to his race, should be given “careful consideration”, and state further that “there should also be further analysis of the statistics referenced for the previous stop and search occurrences” of the police officers concerned.
Shortly after reaching adulthood, at just 18 years of age, S a young black man of Caribbean heritage and of previous good character, was tasered without warning whilst walking home from college with 2 friends, in Elephant and Castle.
The police recorded having had intelligence that 3 IC3 (police code for ‘black’) males were riding pushbikes and snatching mobile phones from commuters, in a robbery hotspot. S however, was on foot, with one mixed race friend, and one white friend. The IOPC state that: “The intelligence referred to by PC [X] and PC [Y[ has not been reviewed as part of the investigation. It is unclear how the specific intelligence referenced, which relates to three black males on pushbikes, can be related to three males of different ethnicities walking in the city”. As yet, S is unable to understand why he was considered to match the intelligence provided, and beyond that, why he was treated differentially, and worse than his friends.
The IOPC’s decision to uphold S’s complaint and re-direct an investigation in relation to all allegations, means that the police will now have to respond in a proportionate and meaningful way to the serious complaint of racial discrimination, as well as provide a sufficient response to the complaint of unlawful stop, search and arrest.
S had to have stitches further to the surgical removal of one of the taser barbs from his chest. Worse still, he has suffered the longer term psychiatric consequences of the police treatment he received that cold December 2018 day.
S is considering pursuing a claim for assault, false imprisonment, misfeasance in public office, breaches of his human rights, and for racial discrimination under the Equality Act 2010, and is represented by Clare Evans.
We Can Help
At MW Solicitors we have a team who specialise in claims against the police and other state agencies. Collectively our team has over 50 years experience in bringing such claims and have acted for several Claimants who have for example, been assaulted, falsely imprisoned, wrongfully or unlawfully arrested, searched and detained. We assist client in their legal challenges and claims for significant sums of compensation.
MW condemn the violence used by state forces against members of the public, based on colour or other prejudice. MW recognises the disadvantages and unequal treatment which disproportionately affects Black, Asian and minority ethnic people, and the associated negative impact upon their prospects. Through our work we have seen the pattern of institutional racism within police forces time and time again. We strive to hold state agencies to account where abuses of power appear to have occurred. We are civil liberties lawyers for Claimants and members of the Police Action Lawyers Group (PALG) as well as Inquest Lawyers Group (ILG).
McMillan Williams are proud to work closely with Options 4 Change, who are closely supporting S. Options 4 Change are a children and young people charity based in the London Borough of Lambeth and since 2005, have provided various support services and projects for their service users. They strive to support local communities affected by youth violence, gangs, schools exclusions and numerous social welfare issues. They work independently and are committed to “Changing minds and lives for better despite the hardships and challenges their service users face”.