Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Ali Dizaei - White lies, Black reality
Ali Dizaei, the former Metropolitan Police Commander and one of the most senior black officers in the UK, was convicted of corruption and has had all his convictions quashed in a spectacular judgment by the court of appeal. He will now have to suffer a re-trial while he waits for a complete vindication.
Dizaei who has spent a year - of a four year sentence - in prison suffering extreme abuse and violent attacks was released yesterday. He was a former President of the National Black Police Association.
In a remarkable turn of events Dizaei's wife uncovered the fact that key witness in her husband's prosecution Waad al-Baghdadi and described by the prosecution as a 'man of good character' was in fact a lying benefit fraudster using the name of his dead father to access welfare benefits.
Dizaei has always been a thorn in the side of the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) challenging the institutional racism of the organisation Dizaei told an impromptu news conference: "When I clear my name it is my intention to go back to the Metropolitan police and serve my time." That will send shock waves through both New Scotland Yard and the London Mayor's Office. If he were acquitted at a second trial he would be entitled to resume his career as a police officer and no doubt will set the scene for a spectacular compensation pay out to Dizaei. Dizaei, whom I know personally, is a flamboyant maverick, yes a radical anti-racist for sure but not a criminal.
The MPS and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) have spent literally millions of pounds investigating erroneous complaints over Dizaei's 12-year police career to no avail. It's time the now discredited case against Dizaei should be thrown out and in my view he should not face a re-trial as it would make a mockery of British justice and constitute a flagrant abuse of the public purse.
There is no public interest and both the MPS and the CPS have failed to prove their case. Dizaei has batted the many serious accusations against him out the park. He should now be left alone and allowed to get on with life. It's these double standards that are generally applied to black people that stick in the craw. We hear all the time that as black Britons we are both citizens and equals, that the UK is a meritocracy and that we are a post racist society. Nothing could be father from the truth.
The UK remains a racist society. Institutional racism results in black people being judged by a different standard. It's reflected in the fact that two first time offenders, charged with the same crime, one white one black. Guess which one is more likely to receive a caution and which one more likely to be charged? I will leave you to come to your own obvious conclusion.
These double standards result in black people facing injustice, discrimination and misery in the workplace and the criminal justice system. When it comes to high profile black people those who challenge racism are targeted and subject to a campaign of denigration by either their employers and/ or the press who are willing to ignore the facts and follow their prejudice when it comes to considering allegations against black people that would otherwise be considered baseless accusations.
Racism produces a culture of suspicion, disbelief and denial and regardless of the bleating whinge of the liberal establishment that routinely denies accusations of racism, black people are not stupid and the facts and their own lived experience speak for themselves. I believe that the CPS understanding the culture of racism of the judicial and jury system in the UK rely on the fact that where black people are concerned that they are more likely to be convicted with a lower standard of proof.
As a former member of the London Criminal Justice Board I can tell you that racism is rife in the system and is left largely unchallenged. It's a racism that ruins lives and leaves to many black people living in a first class democracy but as third class citizens. Ali Dizaei should buy his wife a very large bunch of flowers and treat her to a fabulous holiday. He has her to thank for his freedom today.
(First published at Operation Black Vote: The Home of Black Politics. http://www.obv.org.uk/)
Posted by Lee Jasper