A Met officer jailed for breaking the leg of a black father in front of his teenage sons did so in a “clear case of racial profiling”, a judge has said.
Carl Abrahams left a cemetery in east London with his children on 31 December 2018 after laying flowers.
On their walk home, he was targeted by PC Charlie Harrison.
Judge Gregory Perrins said he was in no doubt that “had Mr Abrahams and his sons been white”, Harrison would simply have driven by.
Harrison was jailed for two years and three months on Monday at Southwark Crown Court after being convicted of GBH.
The court heard shortly after lunchtime on New Year’s Eve, Harrison was driving an unmarked police car in Forest Gate as part of the Violent Crime Task Force.
He approached Mr Abrahams, who had taken his sons to the cemetery to visit their mother’s grave, and performed a “leg sweep” to knock him to the ground.
In his sentencing remarks, Judge Perrins said: “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.
“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.”
The judge continued: “During the course of the trial, your counsel unsuccessfully sought to put before the jury the contents of your daily briefing document which showed that you were looking for a variety of black men, each of whom were wanted for violent offences and knife crime.
“This was in my judgement a clear case of racial profiling.”
Mr Abrahams spent the evening in hospital and an X-ray revealed a fracture at the top of his shin bone.
His leg was placed in a cast and he had to walk with crutches for three months.
“He was unable to return to work and had to work from home,” the judge said.
“Mr Abrahams describes how he has given up football and running as a result of the injury to his knee.
“He also describes how even now, three years later, his sons are fearful of the police and believe that they remain at risk of being targeted because of the colour of their skin.”
Mr Abrahams complained to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in January 2019 and it was decided that the Met should investigate.
Harrison was charged and suspended from duty in August of that year and will now face disciplinary proceedings.
Cdr 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.”
The Met said the judge’s comments had been “noted”.
“The complaint investigation also reviewed whether the officer’s actions were racially discriminatory and this will be considered as part of the discipline process that follows,” a spokesman added.