Police officer on trial accused of racial abuse during riots

A police officer is due to stand trial today accused of racially abusing a suspect during the London riots. Pc Alex MacFarlane, 52, is accused of using a derogatory term against 21-year-old Mauro Demetrio during the disturbances in August last year.

The officer denies a charge of racially aggravated harassment and will go on trial at Southwark Crown Court in London. MacFarlane, an officer with the Metropolitan Police, was charged in April after a U-turn by prosecutors. The charging decision hinged on mobile phone footage, allegedly taken by Mr Demetrio, from Beckton, east London, in August last year. Mr Demetrio was held by police on suspicion of drug-driving but no action was taken.

The CPS announcement came after the police watchdog announced a review of a string of complaints about racism at the Metropolitan Police.

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