Cambridgeshire Police: No misconduct found in white officer's stop

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image copyrightFacebook
image captionThe video was shared on social media in June 2020 as Black Lives Matter protests took place

A white police officer who told a black driver he was stopped on the grounds of his race has been found to have no misconduct case to answer for.

The footage, shot in Ely, Cambridgeshire, in 2015, was shared on Facebook in June 2020 as Black Lives Matter protests took place.

The officer had "apologised for the upset caused", said the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

It added the force agreed he "should receive further diversity training".

IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: "This incident rightly raised concerns about public confidence in policing and not least from the black community."

He added that they "found that there was room for improvement in some of the interactions with the man, who was justified in querying why he was told that he was stopped on the grounds of his race".

What does the video show?

In the footage, posted on social media by the driver's sister, the unidentified officer tells the driver there are county lines drug problems in the area involving black males.

The police officer says he does "not see many black males" in Ely and pulled the driver over because he had not seen him before.

The driver does not accuse the officer of being racist, but suggests he would not have been stopped if he were white - a point which the officer appears to accept.

The IOPC said officers had "some local intelligence" on which the decision to stop was based,.

"This intelligence was seven months old and the description of the people of concern was no more specific than 'black men'," the IOPC said.

"Other factors, such as the demographics of the area and the fact it was known for drug dealing, were not specific to the man being stopped."

The watchdog said evidence indicated the man had been "stopped unfairly due to insufficiently current or specific intelligence", but said the officer "acted in good faith for a legitimate policing purpose".

It added the officer "must consider how his actions could disproportionately impact black men, why the stop could be viewed as discriminatory, the impact this incident had on the man involved and the effect it could have on confidence in policing".

A Cambridgeshire Police spokesman said: "Racism and disproportionality have been issues for policing for many years and positive steps have been taken, but there is still work to do.

"We take allegations of racism extremely seriously and will not tolerate discrimination of any kind. We are committed to ensuring all officers and staff act with the utmost integrity and professionalism at all times."

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