PC Alex MacFarlane denies riots race abuse charge

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A Metropolitan Police officer has denied racially abusing a suspect after the summer riots in London last year.

PC Alex MacFarlane entered the not guilty plea at Westminster Magistrates' Court.

The 52-year-old officer was charged after the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) reversed its original decision not to prosecute him.

He was released on bail until 29 June when he is due to go on trial at Southwark Crown Court.

Mr MacFarlane spoke only to confirm his date of birth and gave his address as Forest Gate police station.

Mobile phone footage

He is charged with intending to cause harassment, alarm or distress to his victim and using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Alison Saunders, chief prosecutor for London, ordered that Mr MacFarlane be charged after she reviewed an earlier decision not to prosecute.

The charging decision hinged on mobile phone footage, allegedly taken by Mauro Demetrio, from Beckton, east London, last August.

Mr Demetrio was held on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs, but no action was taken.

The CPS announcement came after the police watchdog announced a review following a string of complaints about alleged racism at the Metropolitan Police.

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