Met police’s race problems continue, say Kester David’s family

Kester David
Kester David

originally by: The Guardian
published: 23 April 2012

The family of a black man found burned to death have condemned police chiefs for failing to start disciplinary action against officers blamed by an internal report for a “catalogue of errors”, which amount to “a failing in duty”. A Metropolitan police investigation recorded the death of Kester David as suicide after his burned body was found in railway arches in north London in July 2010. His family believe it was murder and that police gave them second-class treatment because they are black.

An internal police report found a string of errors in the investigation, some of which mean potentially vital evidence has been lost, the Guardian has learned.

A new investigation has now been ordered but the Met says it has not started disciplinary proceedings relating to the first inquiry despite its condemnation by an internal review completed in January.

The Kester David case is one of at least 10 that have surfaced in recent weeks, which question the Met’s claims to have learned sufficient lessons on race, and top officers’ promises to crack down on racism in the ranks.

Roger Griffith, brother of Kester David, told the Guardian that the failure to take disciplinary action led him to doubt that the Met commissioner, Bernard Hogan-Howe, was taking the case seriously. Hogan-Howe told MPs on the home affairs committee this week that he had personally ordered the reopening of the case.

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