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Met officer to be charged over 'racial abuse' recorded on mobile phone

A Scotland Yard officer accused of racially abusing a suspect will be charged after a prosecution U-turn.

Both the alleged victim and Britain's top police officer welcomed the Crown Prosecution Service's decision to take Pc Alex MacFarlane to court.

The charging decision hinged on mobile phone footage, allegedly taken by 21-year-old Mauro Demetrio, from Beckton, east London, in the wake of the riots last August. Reviewing lawyers watched footage appearing to show the officer say to Mr Demetrio: "The problem with you is you will always be a n*****, yeah?"

Mr Demetrio was held on suspicion of drug-driving but no action was taken.

Alison Saunders, chief prosecutor for London, said the original CPS decision was "regrettable", adding that a prosecution was necessary to maintain public confidence. Ms Saunders said she had advised the Independent Police Complaints Commission to charge Pc MacFarlane with a public order offence after the review.

Mr Demetrio said he was "relieved that some action is now being taken" before adding: "I hope now to see justice."

The CPS announcement came after the police watchdog announced a review of a string of complaints about racism at the Metropolitan Police.