January 19th, 2009

Speaking of Turncoats

Posted in The Job - Comment by 200

So, the Equalities and Human Rights Commission chief, Trevor Phillips says the police are no longer  institutionally racist.

They did an article on Victoria Derbyshire’s phone in on Radio 5 today. There was some professor of racism or something who disagreed, an ex Met Fed person who agreed, and that distasteful man Met Commander Ali Dizaei who also disagreed, mind, he is suing the Met for racial & religious discrimination.

The usual suspects phoned in, police officers who said they’d never witnessed any racism and black & Asian men who said they got stopped 27 times a night because they were black (or Asian).

One such caller called in to say he was stopped for no reason, didn’t have any ID on him and was then taken to a police station for no reason where the police tried to prove his identity  for no reason and after 3 weeks or something he was finally let out. He gave sufficient detail that anyone knowing about the case would have recognised it, indeed someone claiming to be a police officer with some knowledge emailed in to say the reason he was  stopped and taken to the police station was that he had been breaking the law & had no way of proving who he was, which sounded like standard fare really, whether you’re black or white.

One of his complaints was that the officer asked him to take his hands out of his pockets. When he asked why, he was told that people sometimes had weapons in their pockets and the officer wanted to satisfy himself that he was as safe as possible while dealing with someone. Obviously, this was racist because he was black. I recognise this as being pretty standard procedure, particularly in an area of high knife crime.

Dizaei chipped in at this point to say that he’d been a police officer for 24 years (or something) & could count on one hand the amount of times he’d asked people to take their hands out of their pockets, that was completely unnecessary & therefore this was clearly racist behaviour.

I don’t know the man (Dizaei) nor his working practices but I wouldn’t mind hazarding a guess that someone who has reached the heights of a Met Commander can count on the fingers of a half eaten Twix bar the amount of times he’s done a stop check on the streets of London late at night (or any other time) in the last few years.

He did, however, accept that the racism within the police force was not generally at the street & PC level, but on the top floors of the senior officers, much like himself, really.

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