Policeman suspended after race bias ruling

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The Independent Online
A policeman was suspended from duty last night after a judge condemned his assault on a student and said the evidence of one witness reinforced an impression of "an officer showing racial bias" during the attack four years ago.

A police report on the assault on Aamer Anwar, 27, in November 1991 was being resubmitted to the Procurator Fiscal in Glasgow.

PC Graham McKee's suspension followed publication yesterday of a 16- page judgment by Sheriff George Evans. Sheriff Evans awarded Mr Anwar pounds 4,200 in compensation following a civil action at Glasgow Sheriff Court against the Chief Constable of Strathclyde.

PC McKee, 34, was said to have remarked: "This is what happens to black boys with big mouths," when he arrested Mr Anwar. The incident took place when Mr Anwar, then a student at Glasgow University, was bill- posting with three other students in Ashton Lane, Glasgow, on 6 November, 1991. They were spotted by PC McKee and a probationary woman constable.

Sheriff Evans found that PC McKee pushed Mr Anwar and landed on top of him. He then dragged him a short distance so that his head was over a concrete footpath.

Sheriff Evans said: "PC McKee then deliberately assaulted the defender [Mr Anwar] by pulling back his head and slamming the bottom half of his face straight down onto the ground. "As a result the pursuer [Mr Anwar] felt the front two of his teeth chipping and severe pain shooting through them. PC McKee repeated the same action."

Mr Anwar said last night that he was satisfied with the court's decision."It's taken me four years to get this far and I was under immense pressure.

"At the end of the day money wasn't the issue. No amount would have recompensed me for what he did. For the court to find in my favour and the facts to come out was what I wanted. It raises the question of how many other people in this position have not had the level of support I have had and were forced to walk away. The Chief Constable has to act to ensure that this kind of incident never happens again."

In a statement last night, Strathclyde police said: "The Deputy Chief Constable, James Richardson, has noted the Sheriff's comments in his judgment about the type of loaded, confrontational material previously circulated in this case, describing Mr Anwar as a young victim of racist violence by members of Strathclyde police, as serving no good purpose.

"We can confirm that a 34-year-old serving police officer has now been suspended from duty." Sheriff Evans found that the assault by PC McKee was an intentional wrong for which the Chief Constable was responsible in law.