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Pc facing riots race abuse charge
A Scotland Yard police officer is to be charged with racially abusing a suspect during the summer riots, prosecutors have said.
There is now "sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction" of Pc Alex MacFarlane, a Crown Prosecution Service review concluded.
Lawyers studied footage appearing to show the officer say to a 21-year-old black man: "The problem with you is you will always be a n*****, yeah?"
The CPS announcement came as the police watchdog announced a review of a string of complaints about racism at the Metropolitan Police, warning of the risks of "much wider disaffection and dissatisfaction" with the force. There are now 11 separate allegations under investigation, involving 10 police officers.
Alison Saunders, chief prosecutor for London, said she had advised the Independent Police Complaints Commission to charge Pc MacFarlane despite the CPS's decision not to charge him in January.
"In March, the complainant's lawyers challenged that decision and, in accordance with standard CPS practice, Grace Ononiwu, Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor for CPS London, directed that the case be reviewed by a more senior lawyer who was not previously involved.
"That review is now complete and the conclusion, based on all the evidence now available, is that there is sufficient evidence for a realistic prospect of conviction to charge Pc MacFarlane with a racially aggravated public order offence contrary to Section 4a of the Public Order Act 1986 and Section 31 of the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.
"When a review shows a previous decision not to prosecute is wrong, it is open to the CPS to rectify that error by bringing new proceedings."
Ms Saunders said the original CPS decision was "regrettable", adding that a prosecution was necessary to maintain public confidence.
Pc MacFarlane was stripped of his duties in relation to the mobile phone footage.