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article imageOp-Ed: Justice for John Terry, but not for Mark Duggan

By Alexander Baron     Jul 13, 2012 in Crime
London - On Friday, July 13, in an uncharacteristic outburst of common sense, football player John Terry was acquitted of the non-crime of using a racial epithet during a match. The victim of a real crime still waits for justice.
The imbeciles and morons who control our criminal justice system sank to a new low when they charged soccer player John Terry with a “racially-aggravated public order offence” against a fellow player, Anton Ferdinand.
Meanwhile, a real injustice - the death of an unarmed man - goes and will continue to go, unpunished.
This nonsense began during a soccer match between Chelsea (which Terry captained) and Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road in October last year. The footage is all over YouTube, but here is one clip.
It is difficult to credit that this outburst - whatever its context - could be the subject of criminal charges, but Terry was indeed charged, and his trial before a stipendiary at London's Horseferry Road lasted a staggering five days.
On the second day of the trial, there were some very interesting revelations. The only person to complain initially was an off-duty police officer, although it is not clear what team he was rooting for. The victim of this non-crime told the court he would have been very hurt if he'd heard what Terry had said, although he didn't quite burst into tears. As long ago as 2007, Ferdinand was said to have been earning (if that is the correct word) over £20,000 a week. Not bad for a member of an oppressed minority; there are doubtless many young black men in Tottenham who would gladly trade places with him for half that money and twice as many racial insults, real, imagined or mistaken, (but more of that anon).
There is apparently a considerable history of bad blood between the two men, though for the sort of money they are being paid, they should both exercise restraint. Alas, on and off the field many footballers think they are God's gift to the sport and to everything else, including women, as Ched Evans proved when he found himself in the dock charged with a real crime.
How much public money has been squandered on this nonsense, and just as importantly, how did it come about? The roots of the current malaise can be traced to the April 1993 murder of Stephen Lawrence, a black youth who was attacked by an all-white street gang and stabbed to death while waiting for a bus in South London.
Although this was an apparently random, motiveless attack, the police who investigated it followed proper methodology. It may be that in retrospect they would have done things differently, but we can all pick last week's lottery numbers. Detectives took nothing for granted, so they followed many lines of inquiry, most of which were of course dead ends. The mother of the victim took umbrage at this especially, because one of those lines of inquiry was could this have been drug or gang related? As Stephen Lawrence was attacked by a gang, this latter seems reasonable, indeed it would have been negligent not to pursue this. Although the murder happened fairly late at night, the street was well lit and there was no shortage of witnesses, but as with any sudden, traumatic incident there were problems with witnesses and later there would be problems with identification. Think Regina v Turnbull.
Although arrests were made and charges filed, the case collapsed. This led to the Lawrences turning on the police, and the government of the day appointed Sir William Macpherson to head an inquiry. There was a lot more besides, but the bottom line is that Sir William was even more ignorant of police methodology than Doreen Lawrence. He produced a White Paper - which is actually pink - you can order a copy for £26.00 from HMG, but if you are skint or want to read it tonight, click here.
Among other things, Macpherson branded the police institutionally racist. A detailed analysis of his nonsense can be found here, but according to Sir William:
“Racism in general terms consists of conduct or words or practices which disadvantage or advantage people because of their colour, culture, or ethnic origin. In its more subtle form it is as damaging as in its overt form.”
According to this logic, if Terry had been convicted of the heinous offence with which he was charged, his swearing at Ferdinand would have been every bit as damaging as if he had stabbed him to death. Anyone care to defend that proposition?
Among the no less than 70 recommendations Macpherson made was the abolition of the principle of double jeopardy. Unfortunately, that insidious proposal has now been instigated, and two of the first victims were Gary Dobson and David Norris, two of the original suspects in the Lawrence murder.
Incredibly, the Metropolitan Police accepted all this nonsense without so much as a whimper, and the rest of Britain's police forces appear to have followed suit. It was all but forgotten that this was actually an official inquiry into a murder, not about ethnic monitoring, recruiting black police officers or anything of that nature. But, it did give the police new suspects to chase, including easy targets - which is what they like. Chasing real criminals can be dangerous, after all.
The John Terry affair is merely the tip of a very large iceberg, and the madness has so infected the Met in particular that it has even turned on itself, totally ignoring The Code. As of May 10, no less than 9 police officers were under suspension for allegedly using so-called racist language.
This is all thoroughly edifying, but aren't murders and other fatalities higher up the agenda? If the Metropolitan Police are so concerned that real crimes against young black men be investigated and the perpetrators brought to justice, there is one they should be looking into pronto. On August 4 last year, Mark Duggan was shot dead in North London by an officer from Operation Trident. It was this fatal shooting that led to the Tottenham, then London then so-called English riots, which among other things saw poor little rich girl Laura Johnson carted off to jug.
Mark Duggan  the man shot dead by armed police in Tottenham on August 4  2011.
Mark Duggan, the man shot dead by armed police in Tottenham on August 4, 2011.
During and immediately after this shooting there were no less than 31 police witnesses. Guess how many have to date been questioned by the so-called Independent Police Complaints Commission? Try none.
The persecution of John Terry wasted tens of thousands of pounds of public money, at least; it also wasted valuable police and court time that could have been used more productively, especially the former. If the Metropolitan Police are genuinely concerned for the well-being of young black men, they should start by cleaning the Augean stables, break this conspiracy of silence and charge the killer of Mark Duggan with, if not murder, then something.
Any action taken against John Terry should have been left to the football authorities. Although this is the end of the affair legally, as far as he is concerned, it may not be over for Ferdinand, because nobody loves a snitch. Chances are that purely on account of his behaviour in this matter he will be subjected to genuine racial taunts by both players and supporters black and white. If he hasn't already.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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