A “resurgent culture” in police racism has been blamed for new figures that show black people are three times more likely to be Tasered than white people.
The statistics, obtained by the BBC, suggested that black people were around three times as likely to have the weapon used on them, triggering a row about whether this was due to racism within the force.
Lee Jasper, a race relations activist, told The Huffington Post UK that the statistics “reflect the growing concern among the black community that as institutionalised racism has fallen off the agenda we have seen a of the police processes of the 70s and 80s that were invariably discriminatory and violent”.
He added the fact black people were more likely to be charged with drugs possession and the news the Metropolitan Police rejected all 240 race discrimination complaints made against it over a year “point to a resurgent culture of institutionalised racism in policing.”
Police used the weapon more than 38,000 times over the past five years in England and Wales. More than 12% of cases involved a black person, while only 4% of the population is black.
Rick Muir, directive of research think tank the Police Foundation, said the statistics were “extremely worrying” but said they were not proof of institutional racism, an accusation that has haunted British policing since the inquiry into Stephen Lawrence’s murder.