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Family's anger as 'racist' police are let off the hook

PUBLISHED: 13:53 11 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:41 07 September 2010

A FATHER and son are outraged after being told riot squad officers, who they claim attacked and racially abused them, will be let off the hook. In March 2007 the Ham&High reported how Alphonse Mendy, then 49, and son Bani, 20, from Lissenden Gardens in Pa

A FATHER and son are outraged after being told riot squad officers, who they claim attacked and racially abused them, will be let off the hook.

In March 2007 the Ham&High reported how Alphonse Mendy, then 49, and son Bani, 20, from Lissenden Gardens in Parliament Hill were allegedly clubbed and headbutted by baton wielding police outside their home.

Dozens of neighbours witnessed the violence and wrote letters of complaint to the police about their heavy-handed tactics. One witness captured the mayhem on his video camera.

But after an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation, the Met has decided three of the officers should not face disciplinary proceedings. One other officer, who was accused of starting the fracas, could face a written warning for what the Met described as 'a lack of politeness'.

Reacting to the news the family's solicitor Matthew Gold said: "This was a horrific incident involving racial insults and gratuitous violence. We are very disappointed and upset because the IPCC has yet again failed to properly analyse or even refer to major parts of the evidence when deciding not to push for disciplinary procedures against three of the most culpable officers."

Trouble flared when officers jumped out of their vehicle, ordering Bani to stop his car yards from his front door. He was pulled out, pushed to the floor and beaten with batons across his back.

When his father came out to intervene he too was struck and left with a black eye. The men claim the abuse continued inside the riot van. One officer reportedly broke his wrist in the melee when hit by a colleague's truncheon. No charges were brought against Bani or Alphonse and witnesses say neither of them did anything wrong.

Bani, who is due to graduate from Bournemouth University next year, said: "I wanted the police to pay for what they did. What can I do now? The law is working against me. Any trust I had in the police has gone. I can't believe these officers can get away with it."

IPCC Commissioner David Petch does believe the officer who pulled Bani from his car was in breach of regulations regarding Use of Force and Abuse of Authority, and has recommended a written warning.

Earlier this year the Crown Prosecution Service decided not to take criminal proceedings against the officers. The family are still considering a civil case against them.

An IPCC spokeswoman said: "We are confident that this was a thorough investigation, taking into account evidence from the complainant, officers involved and independent witnesses.

"The investigation did examine the allegations that violence was used by officers and took into account statements from several independent witnesses. This was included in the information passed to the CPS and the MPS.


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