Sunday, April 10, 2016

The callous moment two police officers LAUGH as they chase autistic man with a mental age of five as he screamed for his mother

This is the shocking moment two police officers were recorded laughing as they chase a terrified man with a mental age of five on their own dash-cam.

The disturbing footage also records severely autistic Faruk Ali, 33, screaming for his mum as PCs Christopher Thomas and Christopher Pitts tackle him outside his home in Luton, Bedfordshire, in 2014 while on patrol.

The officers, who said Mr Ali had aroused their suspicions by wearing flip-flops in the street, were cleared of racially aggravated assault and misconduct after a trial in 2014.

But on Thursday a panel found them both guilty of gross misconduct and they were sacked.

A video of the incident - a piece of evidence in the misconduct hearing - has now been released by police.

In the 5.33 minute long video the pair can be heard laughing as they drive past Mr Ali, who was watching the weekly bin collection outside his house.

One of the pair is heard saying 'f**king crack me up' and they turn their car around.

Mr Ali then runs away and Pc Pitts, 39, then starts encouraging his colleague to go after him by shouting, 'Go on, go, go, go' while they laugh.

Pc Thomas, 33, from Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire chased Mr Ali back to his home in the street before grabbing him.

Mr Ali consequently  fell into some wheelie bins and can be heard screaming for his mother as Pc Thomas detains him. According to Mr Ali's family the officers also punched him in the face.

The pair then unlawfully enter the house before getting back into their car.

 Horrified bystanders accuse the pair of being racist before they drive off.

One of officers is then heard saying, 'Welcome to Bury Park' and, 'There's going to be a complaint, right I'll have to write my pocket note book up'.

They also say: 'Next time someone runs off like that can we not doing anything?'

Mr Ali's brother Dhobir said that the dash-cam video is still difficult for him and his family to watch.

He said: 'The first time I saw it I got very emotional, it really got to me that officers had done, said and behaved in this way.

'I just couldn't comprehend it. I was shocked to hear them laughing and giggling throughout it.'

Following the incident both officers were found to have breached professional standards and PC Thomas was also found to have breached equality and diversity in relation to the man's disability.

After the criminal trial in December 2014, the pair were found not guilty of misconduct in a public office, while PC Thomas was also cleared of racially aggravated assault over the incident.

But after an eight day police misconduct hearing in Bedford, Bedfordshire, both were sacked from the force yesterday without notice.

Deputy Chief Constable Mark Collins said: 'Firstly I would like to apologise on behalf of the force to Faruk Ali and his family for the distress this incident has caused them.

'We are committed to supporting vulnerable people which is a priority for this organisation and I see excellent examples on a daily basis where we provide that support to the most vulnerable in our society.

'However, on this occasion the two officers' conduct has fallen well below any standard that is acceptable in policing and they have now paid the ultimate sanction in losing their jobs.

'This should send a very clear message to police officers that this type of behaviour is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. It also demonstrates how committed we are to tackling unprofessional behaviour which has no place at Bedfordshire Police.

'I'm sure officers across the force, and indeed the country, will share my disappointment at the actions of PCs Thomas and Pitts and the damaging impact it will have on confidence in policing.

'We are committed to rebuilding that trust and confidence and will continue to work hard with our communities in order to protect people and fight crime.

'We appreciate this has been a long process for all those involved but it was only right that every aspect of this case was thoroughly investigated and scrutinised in a transparent manner and I would like to thank people for their patience.'

Mr Ali's brother insisted the dismissal was the right verdict in a case the family have been battling for years. Kodor Ali said: 'It has been a long time coming, we have been fighting the case for the last two years.  'It was the right verdict, the evidence was damning.

'It was quite clear, what they were saying in their statements and what was in the evidence was miles apart.  'It was blatant they were trying to a make a story up to account for their actions.

'We would like to thank everyone who has supported us throughout the case as without that we wouldn't have achieved what we did today.'

Tom Purser, a spokesman for the National Autistic Society said the case had been a deeply disturbing one.

Mr Purser said: 'This has been a deeply concerning case and we're pleased that the Deputy Chief Constable has apologised to Faruk and his family for the extreme distress caused by the actions of his officers in 2014.

'A traumatic experience like this will have had a lasting effect on Faruk and the Ali family, so it's important that there have been consequences for the officers involved.

'Over one in 100 people are on the autism spectrum and, when they are overwhelmed and anxious, their actions can be misinterpreted and situations involving the police can escalate.

'At the National Autistic Society we believe this case has shown again how vital it is that the police and other criminal justice personnel have autism training.'

Original report here

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