A serving police officer in London’s Metropolitan Police force has been punished for two years and three months in prison for breaking a Black man’s knee in what the judge stated as “a clear case of racial profiling.”
Charlie Harrison, 39, was sentenced on Monday at Southwark Crown Court, London, because of causing grievous bodily harm, the Metropolitan Police mentioned in a statement.
His sentencing trials a five-day trial last month in which a majority verdict condemned him, police added.
Harrison, who operated on the Met’s violent crime taskforce, was in plainclothes when he got out of his unmarked police car and moved toward Carl Abrahams and his two sons in Newham, east London, on December 31, 2018, as per judge Greg Perrins’ sentencing remarks s.
Abrahams had taken his sons, aged 13 and 16, to visit their mother’s grave at Manor Park Cemetery and was going home when Harrison neared and blocked their path, as seen in the judge’s remarks.
Abrahams shared with the court he did not know that Harrison was a police officer. He strapped past him and kept walking; that is when Harrison kicked his leg and knocked him to the ground, Perrins mentioned.
Abrahams suffered a fracture in the knee and has had to quit football and running due to the injury, the court documents stated.
The judge commented that Abrahams and his sons had done nothing incorrectly and had not been acting doubtfully.
“Having heard the evidence at trial, I strongly suspect that the reason that you stopped Mr Abrahams and his sons was because they were black,” Perrins remarked. “Had Mr Abrahams and his sons been white, I suspect that you would simply drove on by.”
Abrahams’ sons “are scared of the police and feel that they remain at risk of being targeted because of the colour of their skin” three years later, say the remarks.
Police mentioned Harrison has been deferred from duty and will be subject to disciplinary actions.
“His actions were found to have fallen well below the standard we expect of our police officers, with a man left badly injured,” remarked police commander Paul Betts in the statement.
“This type of behaviour has no place in our police service and undermines the confidence of the communities we are here to protect,” Betts added further.
Perrins admitted that Harrison’s career in the police is now over.
“I accept that this is difficult for you,” the judge said. “However, it is no one’s fault but your own.”
In 2020, UK government data displayed that between April 2018 and March 2019, there were 38 stop and hunts for every 1,000 Black people in England and Wales, compared to only four for every 1,000 White people.