In Coventry, England, The Guardian reports, a West Midlands police officer was caught on camera telling a black man, “You’d be the first one I’d shoot if I had a gun.” (Most British officers do not carry firearms.)
In the video, Jack Chambers, a 24-year-old black local, was sitting and smoking when a group of officers, whose faces have been blurred, approached him during a search of the premises.
One of the officers asked Chambers why he didn't open the door for the police.
Chambers replied, saying, “Because I was f*cking half asleep...I didn’t know who you was and you were climbing up the window like thieves.”
One officer then states that they identified themselves as officers of the law, so Chambers should have known that they weren't thieves.“Police?" Chambers says, "That’s even worse. I’ve been seeing all kinds of videos, I have."
The officer then says, “You’re going to go Black Lives Matter on us, are ya?”
"Yes!" exclaims an indignant Chambers.Watch the full video here:
Assistant Chief Constable, Alex Murray, released a statement after the video came to light: “What was said was not right and the officer has been removed from frontline duties pending further assessment. The officer has already expressed remorse and is very apologetic over his comments."A community activist based in Birmingham, Desmond Jaddoo, believes that the police department hasn't gone far enough, and has suggested that the officer be fired from duty altogether.
"My concern as an activist is, taking into account the current climate and deaths in custody and also community relations, this goes no way in building trust and confidence with the police," Jaddoo said. “I would also say, I see this not being a hate crime, but other criminality. As far as I’m concerned, these are serious matters. Police officers are there to set an example. Their behavior must be beyond reproach."
Jaddoo also wasn't pleased with the laughter that can be heard from the officers in the video.
“You don’t not make flippant statements about serious issues which affect communities. This is not locker room banter.”
“We expect the highest standards of behavior from all our officers and staff," Murray said in response to community criticism, "And we will always take complaints from members of the public seriously."
In addition to the internal investigation, an official complaint has been filed to police watchdog group, the Independent Police Complaints Commission.