Police officer sacked for homophobic, racist posts about rainbow lanyards and George Floyd

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A British police officer has been sacked for posting homophobic and racist social media posts branded “inappropriate” by a police watchdog.

Lee Scott, of the Northumbria Police force, which covers the county of Northumberland, faced six allegations of gross misconduct over Facebook comments concerning George Floyd and rainbow lanyards.

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IOPC), a public body that oversees police complaints, found that Scott’s posts were “offensive, inappropriate or discriminatory in nature”, The Northumbria Echo reported.

The watchdog recommended in December last year that he faces proceedings following complaints from colleagues earlier that year.

Now a police disciplinary panel held Friday (24 September) found Scott guilty on all six counts and dismissed him, who had been suspended from duty during the investigation.

One of his own colleagues reported Scott to senior officers after raising concerns about his online behaviour, which included sharing content from far-right groups.

Scott regularly took aim at the Black Lives Matter protests that rumbled throughout Britain in the wake of Floyd’s death in May 2020 – even mocking a chief constable who took the knee at one such demonstration.

A woman holds up a placard as people demonstrate during a protest in Middlesbrough. (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
A woman holds up a placard as people demonstrate during a protest in Middlesbrough. (Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

He also made homophobic remarks against a senior cop for wearing a rainbow lanyard in support of LGBT+ rights.

Police officials condemn cop’s ‘completely unacceptable’ comments

“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,” said the IOPC’s regional director Miranda Biddle.

“We assessed the comments made on Facebook for a while and concluded that PC Scott had a case to answer for gross misconduct.

“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.”

Following the hearing, Northumbria Police’s head of professional standards, Superintendent Steve Ammari, said the disgraced’s cop’s actions were “completely unacceptable”.

“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,” he said.

Northumbria’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, also slammed Scott’s online behaviour.

“There is no place for hate in our region and certainly not in our police force. This officer has let his force, his colleagues and importantly, the communities he was meant to be serving down,” she said.

It comes after three police officers, all part of a unit at Hampshire Constabulary, were fired for gross misconduct in January for crudely mocking LGBT+ people.

The trio jeered at LGBT+ people as “queers” and “horrible, tranny faggots” and even joked about drowning migrants.

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