Met Officer shared 'Golliwog Meghan Markle meme' tribunal told

Met Police Officers shared deeply racist and offensive WhatsApp messages including one which ‘compared Meghan Markle to a Golliwogand another where a boy in a hoodie was called a ‘monkey in the jungle’, gross misconduct tribunal told

  • PCs Sukhdev Jeer and Paul Hefford and ex-officer Richard Hammond accused
  • Tribunal hears of WhatsApp calling a boy in a hoodie a ‘monkey in the jungle
  • Another was off a disabled man walking to the Jurassic Park theme tune
  • All three officers deny that their behaviour amounts to gross misconduct
  • A Met Police officer posted a meme to his colleagues that likened Meghan Markle to a Golliwog, a gross misconduct tribunal heard this afternoon.

    PC Sukhdev Jeeralong with PC Paul Hefford and former officer Richard Hammondis accused of sharing racist and offensive messages in a WhatsApp group.

    They also failed to challenge or report the other members of the chat after receiving the offensive posts, word daar beweer.

    One was of a young boy in a hoodie which was captioned ‘monkey in the jungle’.

    Another was of a disabled man struggling to walk which was set to the Jurassic Park theme music.

    All three officers deny that their behaviour amounts to gross misconduct. If it is proven against them, they will be sacked.

    Vishal Misra, for the Met Police, this afternoon quizzed PC Jeer about a meme which showed the image of a ‘Golliwog’ toy that was captioned: ‘A sneak preview at Meghan’s wedding dress.’

    Responding to this, PC Jeer said he did not find this funny even at the time.

    ‘The fact that someone is out there can create this, that is not a nice thing to do but I posted this on the group not to laugh at it but [to show] that there are people out there who still do this and find it funny.’

    PC Jeer explained that he regarded memes as ‘jokes’ and tried to ‘find humour’ in what he posted.

    Tydens kruisondervraging, Mr Misra went through more of the content PC Jeer shared on the group.

    One meme said: ‘We asked a hundred normal people, “What do you associate with Islam?” 1. Ons sal nooit polisiëring skoonmaak voordat kommissaris Calamity gestart is nie 2. Pedofilia 3. Hate Preaching 4. Unwelcome invaders 5. Excessive breeders 6. Goat/Camel f******.’

    Former Met officer Richard Hammond pictured facing the camera in London at a different time

    Former Met officer Richard Hammond pictured facing the camera in London at a different time

    Serving Met Police officer PC Paul Hefford is accused of sharing inappropriate messages

    Serving Met Police officer PC Paul Hefford is accused of sharing inappropriate messages

    This is understood to be one of the clips that forms part of the gross misconduct tribunal

    This is understood to be one of the clips that forms part of the gross misconduct tribunal

    Mr Misra told this morning’s hearing in Fulham that PC Jeer contributed to the group the most, followed by PC Hefford and then former PC Hammond.

    The trio were all part of a unit at Bethnal Green Police Station and were members of a WhatsApp group called ‘But They Promisedthat was active between January and December 2018.

    Giving a ‘flavour’ of the kind of messages shared, Mr Misra said: ‘All of the content in the log is submitted to be explicitly racist, homofobies, seksisties, ableist and islamaphobic.

    Hy het bygevoeg: ‘All of the respondents failed to challenge one another with regards to the content being posted.’

    The panel heard that PC Jeer posted an image of a young boy in a hoodie captioned as a ‘monkey in the jungle’ and superimposed with an image of a penis.

    PC Hefford allegedly superimposed the same image with a disabled person.

    Former PC Hammond is said to have sent a ‘discriminatory message’ about the London borough of Tower Hamlets.

    ‘In explaining the message, former PC Hammond in effect said that people from the Bangladeshi community seem to accept election fraud as part of their democratic processes,’ Mr Misra said.

    The lawyer added that six discriminatory videos were uploaded onto the group.

    The trio were all part of a unit at Bethnal Green Police Station and were members of a WhatsApp group called 'But They Promised' that was active during 2018

    The trio were all part of a unit at Bethnal Green Police Station and were members of a WhatsApp group called ‘But They Promisedthat was active during 2018

    The first five were posted by PC Jeer and the sixth by PC Hefford, the panel heard.

    Summarising one video, Mr Misra said: ‘It takes a scene from the movie Jurassic Park and plays the Jurassic Park theme tune and to that theme tune a man with disabilities is seen walking out of a building with the assistance of his carer.’

    Describing another: ‘It pertains to a website called funnyordie.com which shows a white woman stating that if you want to get good exercise in effect they will arrange for a black man to chase her around so that she can get exercise.’

    Of a third: ‘It shows somebody who suffers from dwarfism jumping into a body of water with sound effects designed to mock.’

    It is alleged that the behaviour was ‘prolonged’ as the group was active for a year.

    ‘There has been a persistent and prolonged failure by all of the respondents to adhere to the relevant professional standards,’ Mr Misra said.

    ‘The communities that are lampooned by all of the respondents in the WhatsApp group form part of the communities that they police.’

    All three officers deny that their behaviour amounts to gross misconduct.

    Die tribunaal gaan voort.