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Officer dismissed from Met Police over ‘racist comment’ at march

A panel found on Wednesday that the only appropriate outcome for Marcus Tyson is dismissal without notice.

A Metropolitan Police officer was found guilty of gross misconduct (Andrew Matthews/PA)
A Metropolitan Police officer was found guilty of gross misconduct (Andrew Matthews/PA)

A police officer who made a comment viewed as racist at a political march has been found guilty of gross misconduct and dismissed from the Metropolitan Police.

A disciplinary panel said it was satisfied that the behaviour of Pc Marcus Tyson while on duty at a March For Turkey in London on August 14 2016 amounted to gross misconduct.

The panel found on Wednesday that the only appropriate outcome for Mr Tyson is dismissal without notice.

A verbal confrontation broke out between Mr Tyson and marchers, largely from the Kurdish community, after he is said to have pushed a female steward when an ambulance made its way past.

The hearing was assisted by footage recorded at the march, including scenes of the confrontation, which was live-streamed on a Kurdish community newspaper Facebook page.

Seeing the confrontation take place, a march organiser ran over and, according to the opening note for the case, was told by Mr Tyson: “You go and f*** yourself.”

He is also said to have added: “You’re a f****** idiot.”

In an apparent response to the march organiser saying “You shouldn’t be here”, Mr Tyson tells her: “You don’t tell me what to do in my country.

“It’s my country.”

We say, quite frankly, if that is the manner in which Mr Tyson considers that he should be performing his lawful duty it shows frankly he has no place in the Metropolitan Police Service. John Bassett

The hearing was told that the last remark is captured on footage, and the opening note says the comment “unsurprisingly, was perceived by a number of those who heard it to be racist”.

Panel chairwoman Louisa Cieciora said on Wednesday that in making the remark Mr Tyson was “intentionally seeking to highlight a difference” and said it was an “attempt to denigrate the complainant”.

She also said that it was not until a late stage in the process that he admitted to using “unsavoury terminology”, adding: “In short, until today he has shown no remorse or insight.”

The chairwoman said that to retain Mr Tyson would send out the wrong message and the only appropriate outcome is dismissal without notice.

John Bassett, counsel for the appropriate authority, said during the hearing that the officer’s behaviour was “an utter disgrace”.

He said that Mr Tyson described his conduct as “a firm and robust policing approach towards those who opposed him performing his lawful duty”.

Mr Bassett went on to say: “We say, quite frankly, if that is the manner in which Mr Tyson considers that he should be performing his lawful duty it shows frankly he has no place in the Metropolitan Police Service.”

Mr Tyson gave an interview to The Sunday Times in September 2016 which was unauthorised.

According to the opening note for the case, as an officer with the rank of constable, Met policy required him to seek permission to take part in the interview.

The panel found Mr Tyson was in breach of the standard concerning orders and instructions when he gave the interview, and said the breach amounts to gross misconduct.

The hearing took place in the officer’s absence, with the panel told he is ill and not well enough to attend.

Speaking on behalf of Mr Tyson, Pc Shaun Robinson said that at no time did Mr Tyson “intend to use racist language”.

The Metropolitan Police said: “The Met takes all allegations of discriminatory language or behaviour extremely seriously.

“Where the conduct of staff is proven to have fallen below the standards of behaviour expected, the Met will take robust action to ensure that staff are appropriately disciplined and that lessons, if any, are learnt from each case.

“The Met’s high standards and expectations are made clear when officers and staff join the Met, and are reinforced during training throughout their careers.

“The Met has a clear set of values for staff and the Code of Ethics reinforces the standards of behaviour expected.”

PA

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