Socialist Worker

West Midlands cops to face misconduct proceedings

Issue No. 2529

Cops from West Midlands Police (WMP) will face misconduct proceedings relating to the violent arrest and racial abuse of Don Lorenzo in Birmingham in 2007.

Police were called to his residence in Edgbaston after his teenage daughter alleged he had attacked her, a claim she later withdrew.

An internal investigation by WMP’s Professional Services Department into the incident in 2009 found that officers had done nothing wrong.

However, a jury reached a verdict in 2011 that Don had been racially abused and assaulted. He was awarded £17,000 in compensation.

In Don’s lawyer’s advice following the hearing, he describes how the jury in the trial found that Don was punched in the face.

The jury agreed he had been grabbed hard at the wind pipe and that “police officers called him a ‘fucking nigger’”. They also found he was dragged down five flights of stairs, while doing so “police officers kicked and punched him.”

“At the police station, the police assaulted him by throwing him into the first cell while he had his hands cuffed behind his back.”

In other words, as a source close to the family told Socialist Worker, “He was beaten to within an inch of his life.”

In 2012 WMP had the nerve to appeal against the ruling. But the appeal was overturned.

In the intervening years his life had been turned upside down. WMP spent almost £150,000 in legal fees trying to block Don’s case.

His job as a music teacher was destroyed. Despite his innocence, which was later proven, he could not pass CRB checks.

Eight police officers and one staff member will face misconduct proceedings as a result of the recent Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation.

Two former cops who were involved in the case will not face proceedings, nor will a further eight cops still in a job

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Article information

Tue 8 Nov 2016, 17:35 GMT
Issue No. 2529
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