Police officer is sacked over ‘offensive’ LGBT and Black Lives Matter comments and sharing a Facebook image of George Floyd which was used by far right groups
A police officer has been fired over comments he made about Black Lives Matter protests, an independent watchdog has revealed.
PC Lee Scott faced six allegations of gross misconduct over comments he posted on Facebook following the murder of George Floyd in the US in May last year, and subsequent protests.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated the Northumbria Police officer’s comments, which it said were considered ‘offensive, inappropriate or discriminatory in nature’.
But the watchdog has refused to release what the comments actually were.
It said these included sharing an image of George Floyd that had been used by far-right groups, making homophobic remarks relating to a senior police officer wearing an LGBT lanyard and making inappropriate comments about a Chief Constable taking the knee during a Black Lives Matter protest.
PC Lee Scott faced six allegations of gross misconduct over comments he posted on Facebook following the murder of George Floyd (pictured) in the US in May last year, and subsequent protests
IOPC investigators compared the images and comments posted and the relevant local and national policies for officers. It concluded in December that PC Scott should face gross misconduct proceedings.
A police disciplinary panel held on Friday last week ruled that PC Scott – who had been suspended from duty during the investigation – should be dismissed after the case was proven.
IOPC regional director Miranda Biddle said: ‘There is no place in policing for officers who make offensive comments of any kind, whether on or off duty and whether in a public or private forum.
‘We assessed the comments made on Facebook as a whole and concluded that PC Scott had a case to answer for gross misconduct.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigated the Northumbria Police officer’s comments, which it said were considered ‘offensive, inappropriate or discriminatory in nature’
‘The independent panel has agreed with our findings that PC Scott’s comments showed a clear breach of the professional standards expected of a serving police officer while putting the integrity of Northumbria Police into question – in particular with the black, Asian and minority ethnic and LGBT communities.
‘His comments were also deemed to have a detrimental impact on the wider public confidence and perception of the force.’
After the hearing, the force’s head of professional standards Superintendent Steve Ammari said PC Scott’s actions were ‘completely unacceptable’ and had been reported by a colleague.
Thousands of New Yorkers joined by religious leaders and elected officials gathered at Brooklyn Borough Hall on June 9, 2020, for an anti police brutality march
He said: ‘We have always been clear that we expect the highest of standards to be maintained at all times and if anyone is found to have fallen below these we are committed to taking appropriate action.
‘We are determined to ensure that the actions of an individual do not undermine the professionalism and commitment displayed every single day by our officers, staff and volunteers to the communities we are proud to serve.’
The IOPC said that following the inquiry, Northumbria Police has reminded employees of their expected behaviour under the police Code of Ethics and the Equality Act, and has made sure they have seen guidance about social media use.