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Lawrence cop takes Met to court over racism

gareth-reidA Black policeman who was racially abused by two of the suspects implicated in the murder of Stephen Lawrence, is now taking the Met to court over racial discrimination

By Angela Hinds

Gareth Reid (pictured above) a black police officer who was previously racially assaulted by two of the Lawrence murder suspects has launched a race claim against the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) claiming that they have taken ‘disproportionate and unjustified’ action against him on account of his race.

He begins his tribunal claim of race discrimination, victimisation and whistle blowing on Monday 26 October, 2009. He is represented by Counsel Lincoln Crawford OBE.

In 2002 David Norris and Neil Acourt were sentenced to 18 months after throwing a drink and calling Detective Sergeant Reid a ‘nigger’ whilst he was off duty, walking home from Eltham train station.

The attack was carried out just a mile from the area where Stephen Lawrence was stabbed to death in 1993, an attack for which no-one was has ever been prosecuted.

Gareth Reid now a Detective Sergeant at Greenwich Borough, will tell a tribunal on Monday that his performance came under undue scrutiny, and his work for promotion to Detective Sergeant was sidelined, because of the discriminatory attitude of senior officers in the MPS.

Mr Reid has been very active in his work for the Metropolitan Black Police Association and feels this was one of the reasons he was victimized and treated in a markedly different way than his white colleagues.

Mr Reid joined the MPS in 1993 and has 19 years of good service. Amongst claims made he states that despite passing the exams for promotion to Detective Sergeant in the top two per cent he was nevertheless removed from the promotion scheme and claims he was subjected to continuous unfair treatment by senior officers.

Mr Reid says he was accused by his bosses of failing to adequately investigate a suspicious death for which he was threatened with discipline. Gareth Reid said:

As a black officer I am only too aware of the deep-rooted prejudice that still exists in the Met, and during my career have endeavoured to draw attention to this fact – through my previous claims against the Met, my involvement in the Met Black Police Association and my part contributing to the various race and policing enquiries over the years.

It is with regret that I bring this claim as it underlines that despite all the recommendations made and commitments given, little in terms of outcome has changed in the areas of retention and progression of black officers and for those black officers subjected to formal processes including discipline.

I am determined that the MPS should no longer be able to impede the progress of talented and committed black officers and hope to once again raise the profile of issues which impact upon the daily working lives of all black officers around the country.”

The Metropolitan Police Federation has said: “We are firmly behind DS Gareth Reid, and believe that change in the Metropolitan Police Service is long overdue. We are committed to being part of that change.”

However a Met spokesman said the force would defend any claims of race discrimination and victimisation.

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One Response

  1. I’d never heard of Gareth Reid until reading this story. It’s comparatively easy to sit outside and take shots, but I’m in awe of people who battle it from the inside. Courageous stuff.

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