Pc in dock on racism charge

The trial of a police officer charged with racially abusing a man during last summer's London riots has started at Southwark Crown Court.

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Pc on trial accused of racial abuse

A Met police officer has gone on trial, accused of racially abusing a suspect during last year's riots.

A court has heard how the officer allegedly racially abused a suspect who had been arrested.

Pc Alex MacFarlane is accused of using racist language in an exchange with Mauro Demetrio on August 2011.

Mr Demetrio told Southwark Crown Court he felt "violated".

Phil Bayles reports.

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  1. Phil Bayles

Demetrio alleges attempt to strangle him in police van

Mauro Demetrio told the jury he was arrested after an officer told him he could smell cannabis and that he was driving in a suspicious manner. He alleges that once in the van a fat officer sat on him and that an attempt was made to strangle him.

The court heard a doctor found bruise marks around his neck when he examined Mr Demetrio at the police station.

  1. Phil Bayles

Pc claims he was trying to calm down arrested man

Pc Alex MacFarlane. Credit: PA

It is alleged Pc Alex MacFarlane said: "The problem with you is you will always be a ++++++. Pc MacFarlane does not deny the words but says he was trying to calm the arrested man down and not racially abusing him.

Pc MacFarlane told police investigating the complaint that he was explaining that Mauro Demetrio should be proud of who is and "not try to hide behind your black skin." The trial is continuing.

  1. Phil Bayles

Pc charged with racial abuse during London riots

The trial of a police officer charged with racially abusing a man during last summer's London riots has started at Southwark Crown Court. Pc Alex MacFarlane is accused of calling Mauro Demetrio, 21, a racist name, causing him harassment, alarm or distress. Pc MacFarlane, 53, denies the charges.

The jury heard that Mr Demetrio was stopped in his car by a van full of police officers involved in dealing with violent scenes during the riots. He was arrested under suspicion of driving under the influence of cannabis. Tests later proved negative and he was not charged.

During the arrest and transfer to the police station Mr Demetrio recorded exchanges with officers on his mobile telephone. The defendant is heard making comments which the prosecution say were racially motivated and intended to cause distress.

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