The police can never be ‘disability hate crimers’ – the road from Faruk.

The police can be accused of discrimination, racism. What about hate crimes? Never!

It would not help if the enforcement agencies were seen as generators of hatred.

We’ve had it said they are institutionalist, as in racism – for example the Scarman report. However Scarman was exceptional. Sticking charges of racism onto the police forces is quite difficult.

It’s highly unlikely we will find charges of hate crime against police officers. Even for racial or disability hate crime. Does that mean the Faruk Ali incident is not a disability hate crime then? Will the officers get off lightly?

It was Bedfordshire’s PCC, Olly Martins himself, who told Disability News Service there may have been a disability hate crime. Stephen Brookes of the Disability Hate Crime Network agreed the case had “some very serious underlying disability hate crime issues.”

Bedfordshire PCC Olly Martins (source ITN)

Since those very first innings, have we heard anymore of this?

Not a single peep. Not even from Leicestershire Police, the investigating authority. Nor the preliminary trials in September and October of this year at Aylesbury Crown Court. And not so far in the main trial currently underway at the same crown court.

People may think disability hate crimes (or others) have to be a succession of sustained attacks against a victim. They don’t. They can be very brief, one off incidents. Convictions of disability hate crime are however almost like a lottery. There are huge discrepancies between police forces dealing with any disablist incidents.

It’s well known the criminal justice system has a propensity for letting disability hate crimes slip by – they are not classed as such, even in the most severe cases. If the CPS’ own inept fumblings means ‘Craig Kinsella’ cannot be seen as a disability hate crime what hope then for the Faruk Ali case?

Faruk Ali, who has autism, was attacked by two Bedfordshire police officers, had his clothes torn & suffered substantial bruising. It was allegedly done ‘for fun’. They called him a ‘f…… paki’ and told his parents not to ‘f……. let him out.’ Clearly disability has very much dropped out of the case, its just a sufferance – apparently not a major bearing upon the wherefores for the insidious attacks on Faruk.

Faruk with his torn coat – source BBC

The feather duster in the Faruk Ali case is the CPS has deemed it will be one of ‘racially aggravated assault.’

How do we know? The CPS & IPCC said it. They’ve already indicated their leanings so we have pretty much an expectation what will be the result from the Faruk trial.

It’ll be a disappointing verdict for those of us who expect it should be more than one of racial aggravation. Legislation that is meant to protect disabled people will receive yet another nail in the coffin with regards to promises, all too regularly broken especially when our justice system assures that all disablist hate crime is taken seriously.

(Some previous thoughts on this matter from Vox Political)

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