Former officer says he was racially abused by ‘institutionally racist’…


23 Nov 2021

A former Leicestershire Police officer says he was placed under racist abuse when colleagues called him “Blackie Chan”, and that on several occasions a banana was left by his locker. 

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Dave Cole, who grew up in South London, told Channel 4 News he believes Leicestershire Police is institutionally racist and misogynistic and that he doesn’t see how the public can trust the force.

Mr Cole, who has launched an employment tribunal against his former employers, says he wants the inquiry into the Metropolitan Police force’s culture and standards, set up in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, to examine other forces in addition.

A Leicestershire Police spokesperson said they wouldn’t comment on current employment tribunal proceedings, but insisted the force does “not tolerate discriminatory behaviour” and asks “all staff to challenge it”.

‘I was very upset’

Mr Cole says the racist abuse started when he became a dog handler.

Mr Cole, who was the only black member of his unit, alleges that on several occasions he would go down to the locker room and find a banana had been left in his section.

He said: “I didn’t know how to react at the time. I was quite angry. I was very upset about it. I was suspecting everybody.”

He additional: “They called me ‘Blackie Chan’. That was one of the things that I’d heard people say about me.”

After he left the force, former officers sent Mr Cole a series of messages from a Facebook group which contained misogynistic and homophobic jokes and remarks.

Carl Mee, a serving firearms officer, was investigated and disciplined after the group was reported.

Mr Mee, who has since been promoted to Tactical Firearms Commander, declined to comment.

Leicestershire police confirmed Mr Mee had faced a misconduct inquiry, accepted complete responsibility and apologised, been given a sanction and had gone on an equality course.

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