29 Jul 2016

Met Police to meet black fireman in wake of race allegations

The Metropolitan Police’s most senior black officer is to meet the black fireman Edric Kennedy-Macfoy in the wake of this week’s aborted hearing into race related allegations against some of the officers involved in the incident.

The London firefighter has accepted an invitation to discuss how diversity training could be improved in the Met after telling Channel 4 News that ‘racism is like a disease’ in the force.


The offer was made last year when the Met apologised to the fireman and paid substantial damages.

Yesterday the force announced no further action will be taken against the officers who were facing gross misconduct charges.

They say race played no part in their actions five years ago.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission withdrew its case over “procedural shortfalls.”

It’s emerged tonight he’s been invited to meet the head of the Independent Police Complaints Commission to discuss the failures which led the aborted hearing.

He never got the chance to finally give his side of the story, and neither did the officers, two of whom have spoken of the serious damage the case has had on their health.

The gross misconduct hearing was held under the old rules, behind closed doors and with the media denied access. These days it’s different and this case serves as a reminder of why it’s crucial for the press to be allowed to report on such tribunals – important for both police officers and complainants.

So we do not know exactly how or why the case collapsed. We do not know why witness statements were omitted from the inquiry report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission or why and where there was a failure to disclose or who knew what and when.

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If the tables were turned and it was the Metropolitan Police or any other force who had carried out the investigation there would be accusations of a cover up, demands for resignations and the issue of race would return to haunt yet again.

Should the same questions should now be asked of the IPCC? It’s survival and credibility depends on public confidence.

Is an ‘in depth review“ sufficient? The IPCC has apologised to both sides but for that to mean anything at all the public will expect to know in detail what went wrong and why. The Commission is to appoint someone outside itself and the police to carry out the review and says ‘we would seek to make the findings public as much as we are able to..”

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