Exclusive: Britain’s only ever black police chief says communities feel ‘humiliated’
Britain’s only ever black chief constable has warned that a George Floyd-style killing could happen here, with police embroiled in a crisis over racial justice they were failing to address.
Michael Fuller told the Guardian that stop and search was leaving black people feeling “humiliated”, “alienated” and that their human rights and dignity were not being respected.
Fuller was the chief constable of the Kent force after serving in the Metropolitan police tackling gang and gun violence in London.
He said that cutting crime without widescale use of stop and search was possible, and that the crisis was not inevitable. He added it was proven that building better trust with communities led to better intelligence about serious criminals.
Fuller has expertise in policing and the criminal justice system. After serving as chief constable of Kent from 2004 to 2010, he was chief inspector of the Crown Prosecution Service in England and Wales, and is also a qualified barrister.
He said both British and American black communities were enduring bad experiences of policing, and rejected the assumption it was better in Britain: “In both societies there is racial injustice and social injustice in the way black communities are treated in both countries. The issues are the same.”
He went on to point to the review of the criminal justice system by Labour MP David Lammy, which was commissioned by then prime minister Theresa May.