A front-line police officer in Coventry, West Midlands, has been removed from his duties after telling a black man “you would be the first I would shoot if I had a gun”.
The police officer seemingly did not realise that the exchange was being recorded on a mobile phone. He had mockingly asked the man before this if he was “going to go Black Lives Matter” on the police team, much to the amusement of the other officers attending.
“You’re going to go Black Lives Matter on us, are ya?”
Jack Chambers, 24, is seen in the video above talking to team of police officers. After being asked why he did not open the door to the police, the following conversation takes place:
Chambers: “Because I was fucking half asleep … I didn’t know who you was and you were climbing up the window like thieves”
Chambers: “Police? That’s even worse. I’ve been seeing all kinds of videos, I have.”
Officer: “You’re going to go Black Lives Matter on us, are ya?”
Laughter is heard
Officer: “You would be the first one I would shoot if I had a gun, definitely.”
“I see this not being a hate crime but other criminality”
Community activist Desmond Jaddoo has called for the officer behind the remarks to be removed from duty. He said:
I see this not being a hate crime but other criminality. As far as I’m concerned these are serious matters. Police officers are there to set an example. Their behaviour must be beyond reproach.
You don’t not make flippant statements about serious issues which affect communities. This is not locker room banter.”
The flippancy in the exchange is disturbing. Black Lives Matter is ‘a call to action and a response to the virulent anti-Black racism that permeates our society’. It was created after Trayvon Martin, a 17-year-old black boy, was shot dead by white man George Zimmerman. Yet, Zimmerman was acquitted and Martin who placed posthumously on trial for his own murder.
Independent Police Complaints Commission
West Midlands police force received an official complaint and it is now being dealt with by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Assistant Chief Constable Alex Murray said:
What was said was not right and the officer has been removed from front-line duties pending further assessment. The officer has already expressed remorse and is very apologetic over his comments.
We expect the highest standards of behaviour from all our officers and staff, and we will always take complaints from members of the public
The exchange is especially troubling considering the evidence that a disproportionate number of black people in the UK are dying in police custody. Despite this, no further investigations into this racial bias are taking place and police officers are not being held in any way accountable.
It would appear that police officers are not taking such worrying reports and calls for action seriously, and the legitimate fears of being racially discriminated against are going ignored.
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