Jury retires in police officer racism trial
The jury in the case of a Metropolitan Police constable who allegedly racially abused a suspect has retired to consider its verdict.
Pc Alex MacFarlane, 53, admitted he used a derogatory term for a black person when speaking to 21-year-old Mauro Demetrio, but claimed it was not intended as racial abuse.
The jury of seven men and five women at Southwark Crown Court must decide whether MacFarlane wanted to cause Mr Demetrio distress and whether he demonstrated hostility.
Mr Demetrio made two recordings on his mobile phone after he had been arrested on suspicion of drink or drug-driving on August 11 during last year’s riots.
One recording included an officer calling Mr Demetrio a “scumbag” and another abusive term, while a second recording included MacFarlane’s alleged racial insult, it is claimed.
You may also want to watch:
But MacFarlane, a serving police officer for 18 years, told the court he only used the term after Mr Demetrio used it to refer to himself.
He said he was challenging Mr Demetrio about his language and urged him to be proud about his skin colour.
- 1 Jailed man caught with knife in Stratford to be handed court order
- 2 Cause of death remains unknown after body found in disused Forest Gate pub
- 3 Worshippers at mosque in Upton Park aim to raise £35k for Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal 2021
- 4 Body found in derelict pub in Forest Gate
- 5 Tom Hiddleston to appear as MCM Comic Con returns to ExCeL London in Royal Docks
- 6 Hundreds arrested after police crackdown on county lines
- 7 Forest Gate triple shooting: 'Safety is everybody's business,' councillor says
- 8 Thames Barrier closing for 200th time amid potential east London flooding
- 9 Man given community order for 26 counts of criminal damage after scratching name into property
- 10 Charity provides free breakfasts for 561 vulnerable families over half term
Jurors were told that the suspect had been arrested after a police radio check discovered he was wanted on suspicion of the use, supply or manufacture of drugs and for failing to attend court.
MacFarlane was travelling with seven other officers in a public order unit when Mr Demetrio was stopped.
The married father-of-two said he was “exhausted” at the time of the incident after working 66 hours between August 6 and 11 following the riots which swept London.
He had also recently been told he may have a form of skin cancer, for which he is still receiving treatment, the court heard.
Mr Demetrio was taken to Forest Gate police station in east London but no further action was taken over the alleged offence.
MacFarlane denies one charge of racially aggravated intentional harassment, alarm or distress.