British police acted with racial bias in the case of a disabled Iranian man who was brutally killed back in 2013, a report says.
According to the report by the Safer Bristol Partnership (SBP), “institutional racism” was the reason why UK police and a council had sided with the abusers of Bijan Ebrahimi before he was set on fire by his neighbors in Bristol.
Avon and Somerset Constabulary as well as Bristol City Council had both “repeatedly sided with abusers” of the 44-year-old man.
Although Ebrahimi had been victimized by his neighbors, including death threats, criminal damage and racial abuse on numerous occasions, British police failed to protect him or record a crime in 40 incidents.
The man had even presented evidence against his white neighbors, but he was arrested, while they were not.
Ebrahimi was treated as a “primary perpetrator, rather than the primary victim” of abuse and mistreatment that began years before he was murdered.
“On occasions, Mr Ebrahimi was treated with disrespect and even contempt by some police officers,” the report concluded, noting that some officers and council staff rejected his reports as “dishonest.”
“There is evidence of both discriminatory behaviour and institutional racism on the part of Bristol City Council and Avon and Somerset Constabulary.”
Lee James was sentenced to life for killing Ebrahimi in Capgrave Crescent on July 14, 2013 and Stephen Norley was jailed for four years for assisting James.
According to a separate investigation, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) reported that Avon and Somerset Constabulary failed to properly respond to 85 telephone calls from Ebrahimi from 2007 on.
IPCC said that British authorities had never fully recognized Ebrahimi as a victim of racial abuse.
A trial was held in 2015 in which a police constable and police community support officer were convicted of misconduct in public office and dismissed over the case.
Two other officers, who were first acquitted at trial, were later fired for gross misconduct by Avon and Somerset Constabulary, which gave written warnings to four other staff members involved.