Our full comment on Black People being Tasered: the police are a racist power structure

On Tuesday’s online edition of The Guardian, we were quoted on this story: Black people ‘three times more likely’ to be Tasered

We produce our full unedited comment here in full:

What is it about England’s 43 police forces that their officers are three times more likely to use tasers on Black people than white people?
Put this violence in a context where in Britain today, Black people are more likely to be stopped and searched, arrested, charged and sent to prison than white people.  It is clear, that 16 years after the Macpherson report, the police and the criminal justice system still have a problem with black people.
Nor is there any recourse for black people, as our research showed that over last year when Black people did complain to the Metropolitan Police about racial discrimination, zero complaints were upheld. While publicly displayed racist attitudes are seen as less acceptable, systemic racist outcomes are continued to be pursued without accountability.
It’s also important to remember that police usage of tasers in England have caused a number of fatalities [1, 2], which means the police are disproportionately targeting black people with potentially lethal force.
This racial bias cannot be blamed on individual rotten apples, the consistency of disproportionate racist outcomes means that the entire barrel is suspect. Even the head of Metropolitan Black Police officers Association last year stated that she believed the police are “institutionally racist”. It appears that only people who don’t believe the police are a racist power structure, are white police officers.
We need radical structural reform of the police and the criminal justice system, not merely tough talking against officers using racial slurs. Many members of the black community has little faith that the police can be anything other than racist, this is further evidence to that.