A Metropolitan Police officer has been convicted and jailed for breaking the knee of a Black man in a violent attack described as a “clear case of racial profiling”.
PC Charlie Harrison was found guilty of causing grevious bodily harm (GBH) and sentenced to two years and three months in prison at Southwark Crown Court on Monday.
The victim, Carl Abrahams, had been leaving a cemetery with his children on New Year’s Eve, 2018, where they’d been laying flowers on their mother’s grave.
Harrison, 39, had pulled over in an unmarked patrol car, in plain clothes, to conduct the police stop. It was at this point the officer used what was described as a “leg sweep”, which knocked Mr Abrahams to the ground, fracturing his knee. The attack left Mr Abrahams in need of hospital treatment and forced to use crutches for 12 weeks.
Mr Abrahams reportedly told the court that his children now lived in fear of police and that they “fear they will be targeted because of the colour of their skin”.
After filing a complaint with the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in January 2019, it was decided that the Met should investigate locally. Officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) then launched an investigation before ultimately charging Harrison with GBH in August 2019.
“This matter was subject to a thorough investigation by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and PC Harrison charged and later convicted by a jury,” Met Police Commander Paul Betts said. “His actions were found to have fallen well below the standard we expect of our police officers, with a man left badly injured. This type of behaviour has no place in our police service and undermines the confidence of the communities we are here to protect. Following PC Harrison’s conviction, he will now be subject to disciplinary proceedings.”