Birmingham & Black Country

More senior black West Midlands Police officers, says Jesse Jackson

Media playback is unsupported on your device
Media captionThe Reverend Jesse Jackson has spoken during a visit to Birmingham's new library

Civil rights activist the Reverend Jesse Jackson has said West Midlands Police would benefit from more senior officers from ethnic minorities.

The 71-year-old was speaking during a visit to Birmingham's new library.

Although West Midlands Police's deputy police and crime commissioner, Yvonne Mosquito, is black, there is an all-white command team.

Mr Jackson fought for civil rights in the USA, including the right to vote, alongside Dr Martin Luther King Jr.

He said: "It's in Birmingham's interest for the police force, the judge and the jury, to look like the population because that is the character of fairness and the face of justice.

"That's what justice looks like and so the police force will gain even more legitimacy."

Ms Mosquito, who oversees West Midlands Police in her role, described the situation as "sad".

"If we compare ourselves to America we are nowhere near the representation levels but we are moving, in my view, in the right direction," she said.

"It's slow but it's in the right direction."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites