By David Young-
Racist WhatsApp messages between two police officers connected race to criminal behaviour, in a clear expression of the innate racism in the officers concerned.
One of the messages made the “assumption that the fact that a baby is black necessarily means they are going to be involved in criminality or get police attention in the future”
They are currently suspended from the North Yorkshire force.
The misconduct panel in Northallerton heard that the messages included a number of other offensive and racist comments.
.The shocking revelation reflects the kind of pre-existing racist attitudes the police officers have towards black people, and would suggest there are many others like that who ahve not been caught revealing their innermost thoughts.
On the first day of the hearing Mr Summers had argued the messages were obtained unlawfully and that the misconduct case should not go ahead.
The chair of the panel ruled there had not been a breach of process that should lead to the termination of the misconduct hearing, which continues on Friday.
A misconduct hearing heard that texts of that nature could “affect public confidence in policing”, a misconduct hearing has been told.
Det Con Danielle Kirby and PC James Mills, both of North Yorkshire Police, exchanged the offensive texts in 2018 and 2019, the panel heard. It took four years for the misconduct hearing to take place, another example of the protracted process of the internal disciplinary process in the force.
Olivia Checa-Dover, representing North Yorkshire Police, said there was a “risk that members of the public will think this is what officers have been thinking all along” and that the force could face “significant reputational damage”.
She said one of the messages made the “assumption that the fact that a baby is black necessarily means they are going to be involved in criminality or get police attention in the future”.
“They are overtly and unashamedly racist. When one says something, it’s met not with challenge but with agreement,” she said.
“There are not many topics of graver national concern than the police’s attitude and approach towards race.”
DC Kirby and PC Mills exchanged racist messages on Whatsapp, the panel heard
Ben Summers, representing Ms Kirby and Mr Wills, said the comments were made in a private conversation between friends, rather than in a group, in public or on social media.
He said there was no evidence that either officer had ever treated people from a different ethnic background less favourably while on police duties.
“Both officers were in a frame of mind [when the messages were sent] where they expressed hating everybody,” their lawyer said.
“One message said ‘we are both a bit anti-human’.
“Both officers were in quite a dark place where they hated people generally.”
He said there was a “distinction to be drawn between venting and serious expression of a genuinely held belief”..