Former Metropolitan Firearms Police Constable Mark Gatland has been through hell and back after being wrongly portrayed as racist after he fired a taser. He stood accused of racially motivated use of taser by the Independent Police complaints Commission. Today that investigation collapsed.
Mark Gatland feels having served with the police for 15 years and 8 year in the military police he could no longer cope with being treated like a criminal. He was subjected to imbalanced reporting in the media after an IPCC investigation collapsed due to a number significant failures.
The case involved firefighter Edric Kennedy-Malfoy. The firefighter was off-duty when in September 2011 he approached the officers in Harrow, north London to help identify a young man who had thrown a rock at a police van after a late-night melee. He says officers suddenly turned on him and he believes he was targeted because of his skin colour.
Police evidence led to the Firefighter being charged and later cleared with obstructing police after a two-day trail at Brent magistrates court. The Met Police said sorry and paid damages to the Firefighter.
Mark Gatland told Police hour that ” The complaint was made in Sept 2011 but the investigation did not commence until March 2012 because it was subjudice until after kennedy Macfoy was acquitted at court.
“The DPS investigation, which was an ipcc supervised investigation was complete within a year and concluded that no officer subject of a complaint had any disciplinary or criminal case to answer.
“The ipcc rejected that report and commenced an independent investigation. Throughout this I remained fully operational as an Armed Response officer. In Oct 2014 The Guardian reported that the IPCC had concluded I had a case to answer for racially motivated use of Taser and referred me to the Crown Prosecution Service.
“At this point I was restricted from police operations and moved to a non public facing role. CPS found insufficient evidence to support charging me In January 2015. IPCC had tasked the DPS to undertake a discipline review of their findings in October 2014 but failed to provide their disclosure to the appropriate authority for nearly 3 months.
“Based on the disclosure and final report of the ipcc the appropriate authority agreed that i had a case to answer for my use of taser. The Met disagreed with the ipcc that the use of taser was racially motivated.
“It then bounced back and forth between the ipcc and dps for months before the ipcc ordered the met to put me on a gross misconduct hearing for racially motivated use of taser. 2 dates were put aside then vacated by the dps because the case was not finalised. Throughout this period the ipecac investigator was constantly asking when the hearing would be held.”
PC Gatland was accused of having used “unreasonable force and discharged a Taser without warning and that on both occasions his actions were motivated by racial discrimination and/or racial stereotyping and so treated the victim less favourably”.
Having reviewed the evidence Met Police confirmed “after careful consideration of all the evidence available it is clear that there are conflicting accounts, and as such the case that was due to go before the misconduct panel was not as strong as previously thought.”
In fact the IPCC had no evidence against any of the three officers placed under investigation with there lives were placed on hold and they failed to interview key witnesses.
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) July 28, 2016
Mark Gatland told Police Hour that ‘ The Department Of Professional Standards (DPA) Investigated and found there was no case to answer. They IPCC rejected the DPA investigation and spent 17 months conducting a thorough investigation
“They didn’t find anything extra. They ignored over 50 witness accounts which corroborated police accounts. The IPCC used expert witness testimony to fit the account they wanted to portray.
“This was all wrapped up under the cover of racism despite it not being anything to do with race
PC Gatland said he feels “Having served with the police for 15 years and 8 year in the military police he could no longer cope with being treated like a criminal. No one wanted to hear his account of what really happened”.
In a statement the IPCC said: “We recognise the effect this will have had on both Mr Kennedy-Macfoy and the officers involved, and would like to take this opportunity to apologise to them.”
Former Police Constable Mark Gatland who was even suspended by the Met Police to prevent him from leaving the force pending the misconduct hearing. All along the IPCC knew they had no evidence against PC Gatland.
— Police Hour (@PoliceHour) July 28, 2016
Mark told Police Hour that the damage caused by the IPCC has had an impact on his “health and well-being” as a result of his long running case.
“The damage caused to the officers health and wellbeing as well as his family is impossible to quantity at this time. The matter of damage to the public perception of policing in this matter being falsely portrayed as a racist event is scandalous.”
Mark went on to tell Police Hour that he believed intact the IPCC Commissioner was racist due to conducting an investigation through the eyes of a racist instead of being objective and reviewing all the evidence.
Mark Added “All three of us have been put through the wringer because the IPCC commissioner is a racist. She sees racism everywhere because she is looking through racist eyes. Instead of being objective in reviewing all the evidence she selected what could be made to fit her agenda and then discarded the rest. I don’t expect different treatment. Just fairness. And their has been none.”
“If this case can prevent even one officer having to go through this experience again them I will declare that a victory. Honesty and integrity is the keystone of policing.”
Questions should now be asked as to why the IPCC allowed an investigation to last so long without any evidence being held against any of the Police Officers? Who will now investigate the IPCC.