6 White Police Officers Sue Scotland Yard For Racial Discrimination

Six members of the British Metropolitan Police Force are saying assault charges were brought against them because they are white. They have decided to sue Scotland Yard for racial discrimination. Their lawsuit follows another in which they were exonerated on assault charges.

The pair of lawsuits stem from an incident that took place in 2007. The six Scotland Yard officers accosted a group of Arab-looking teenagers in central London, who the police said were swearing at them. From there, three of the teens were allegedly taken into a police van where, the teens say, they were then beaten and sworn at.

The members of the Metropolitan Police were cleared of all charges in 2009 but, according to a report in the Daily Mail, they say that they have since been sidelined at work. And they say that they've decided to file suit because they think the workplace mistreatment has roots in the skin color of the one who pointed his finger at them.

"If it had been a white officer making that allegation, then the matter would have been dealt with in-house there and then. That would have been the end of it," Sgt. Bill Wilson, who led the team, told the BBC. Wilson was referring to team member Amechi Onwugbonu, who is black, and gave evidence against his colleagues.

A police department lifer, Wilson has found himself embittered by the experience.

"I don't know why I did the 30 years. I could not recommend it as a career to anybody," he told the Daily Mail.

But in speaking to the press, he was quick to offer theories to explain why minorities might be given a special hearing within Scotland Yard. He says that the force was particularly bruised by a famous incident from the 1990s. In 1993, a 19-year-old black, Stephen Lawrence, died after being stabbed while waiting for a city bus in London. No one has yet been convicted of the crime, and a government inquiry revealed that the lead investigators didn't follow obvious leads. Police even failed to offer first aid to Lawrence upon arriving at the scene of the crime. Famously, the 1999 Macpherson Inquiry deemed the Metropolitan Police "institutionally racist," and established frameworks and performance indicators for auditing internal conduct for racism, according to a report by The Guardian.

'If there is any allegation by any black or ethnic minority person against white police officers, they have gone in completely the opposite direction to the point where it is actually the white officers getting discriminated against," Wilson added.

In addition to the action brought by the Met, the police officers also still stand accused of assault charges brought by the youths themselves.

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