Officer is sacked after being jailed for breaking black father's leg

Met police officer is sacked after being jailed for breaking black father’s leg in front of his sons as they visited their mother’s grave in ‘clear case of racial profiling’

  • PC Charlie Harrison attacked Carl Abrahams near a cemetery in east London
  • He used his foot to strike the victim’s leg which caused a fracture to his knee
  • Harrison was jailed last month for more than two years after a five-day trial 

A Met Police officer who was jailed for breaking a black father’s leg in front of his sons as they visited their mother’s grave has also now been sacked by the force.

PC Charlie Harrison ‘racially profiled’ Carl Abrahams, 47, as he made his way home from a cemetery in east London on December 31, 2018, a court was previously told.

The 39-year-old officer was patrolling in an unmarked police car in Forest Gate, with two other officers as part of the Violent Crime Task Force.

In front of Harrison’s car was another unmarked car containing three officers which did not stop.

The unmarked cars had been briefed that morning to look for a number of black men who were wanted for violent crimes.

Mr Abrahams, in his 40s, and an independent witness both said Harrison pulled up and approached his victim alone without identifying himself.

The family walked past the officer who was blocking their path, and without saying a word, Harrison kicked at Mr Abraham’s knee, knocking him to the ground and fracturing his upper shin.

The other officers jumped out of their cars and threatened to arrest a bystander who confronted the officers.

When interviewed Harrison first claimed he was looking for ‘drugs and guns’.

During his trial the officer changed his story and said the family ‘noticed’ his car which was ‘suspicious’.

But he eventually conceded that he had no grounds to carry out a stop and search, as none of the family group had acted suspiciously.

PC Harrison was charged with GBH in August 2019 after an investigation by officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards

Harrison denied but was convicted of causing grievous bodily harm at Southwark Crown Court after a trial in March.

He was later jailed for two years and three months.

Harrison has now been dismissed without notice from the Met Police for breaching standards of professional behaviour in relation to discreditable conduct and use of force following a misconduct hearing.

Commander Paul Betts said: ‘This is a very serious matter with PC Harrison jailed following his conviction for GBH.

‘A misconduct hearing has now been held and PC Harrison’s actions found to have fallen well below the standard we expect of our police officers.

‘This type of behaviour has no place in our police service and it is right PC Harrison has now been dismissed without notice. He will also be placed on the College of Policing’s barred list.’

Sentencing Harrison Judge Gregory Perrins had said Harrison had failed to apologise or accept that his use of force was unjustified in any way during the trial.

He said: ‘You stopped your police car in the road, got out of the driver’s seat and quickly approached them before your fellow officers had left the car.

‘Your explanation as to why you felt that this was necessary has changed.

‘When you were interviewed by the police you said that you were a proactive police officer and that you felt it appropriate to approach Mr Abrahams and his sons because “you don’t find drugs and weapons by remaining in your police car”.

‘When giving evidence you suggested, for the first time, that you saw them notice your unmarked police car which you thought was suspicious.

‘Nevertheless, you had to concede that you had no grounds to arrest either Mr Abrahams or his sons, nor did you have any grounds to carry out a stop and search.

‘They had done absolutely nothing wrong nor had they behaved in any way that could be deemed suspicious.

‘They were simply a family returning from a cemetery where they had gone to visit the grave of their partner and mother.’

PC Harrison was jailed last month following a five-day trial at Southwark Crown Court

The father suffered a fracture at the top of his shin bone and blood in the knee joint and spent New Year’s Eve in hospital, before having to then use crutches for three months. 

Mr Abrahams no longer plays sport and his sons are still fearful of the police, the court was told.

The judge added: ‘Having heard the evidence at trial, I strongly suspect that the reason that you stopped Mr Abrahams and his sons was because they were black.

‘Had Mr Abrahams and his sons been white I suspect that you would simply drove on by, this was in my judgement a clear case of racial profiling.

‘You approached Mr Abrahams and his sons, blocking their path, and indicated that you wanted to speak to them.

‘It was Mr Abrahams’ evidence that he was unaware that you were a police officer.

‘With no further comment and within what can only have been a few seconds you kicked Mr Abrahams’ leg, deliberately knocking him to the ground.

‘Mr Howard, the passer by, immediately confronted you and asked why you had assaulted Mr Abrahams.

‘He was told either by you or one of your colleagues that he should move along and that if he didn’t he would be arrested.

‘He, too, had done nothing wrong and yet was threatened with arrest simply because he had witnessed a serious assault.

‘Mr Abrahams was in obvious pain. Although it was suggested at trial that his sons were aggressive and confrontational in the aftermath of the incident, the video footage shows the exact opposite.

‘They were clearly shocked, frightened and deeply concerned for their father.

‘It was your case at trial that Mr Abrahams was aggressive and that you quickly formed the view that he was going to assault you.

‘You therefore used an approved “leg sweep” manoeuvre to take him to the ground where he could be restrained.

‘In mitigation it is suggested that I should sentence you on the basis that this was a case of excessive self-defence. I reject that suggestion.

‘Having heard the evidence at trial I see no basis upon which you could genuinely have thought it necessary to defend yourself from a man walking down the street with his two sons with his hands in his pockets.

‘This was a deliberate assault… Mr Abraham’s two children were present.

‘They had to watch their father being kicked to the ground without justification by a police officer.

‘Mr Abrahams’ victim impact statement makes it plain that this has had a profound impact upon both of them.’ 

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