Northumbria Police officer dismissed over social media posts he made following George Floyd’s death and Black Lives Matter protests
A police officer from Northumbria Police has been dismissed following an investigation by the Independent Office for Police Conduct for posts he made on social media.
Police Constable Lee Scott faced six allegations of gross misconduct after he posted comments on Facebook following the death of George Floyd in May 2020 and the subsequent Black Lives Matter protests.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) received a referral from Northumbria Police in June 2020 and began an independent investigation.
The allegations covered a number of posts including sharing an image of George Floyd that had been used by Far Right groups, making homophobic remarks relating to a senior police officer wearing an LGBT lanyard and making inappropriate comments about a Chief Constable taking the knee during a Black Lives Matter protest.
A police disciplinary panel was held on Friday, September 24 and concluded that PC Scott, who had been suspended from duty for the duration of the investigation, should be dismissed after the case was proven.
Superintendent Steve Ammari, Head of the Professional Standards Department at Northumbria Police, has condemned the actions of PC Scott and reassured the public the the force always expects the highest of standards from their staff.
He said: “First and foremost, I want to make it clear that the actions of this individual were completely unacceptable.
“This was recognised by a colleague who came forward to report concerns, which reflects the culture within the Force where people have the confidence to speak up and challenge this type of behaviour.
“Following a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct a misconduct hearing was held where the officer was dismissed.
“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.
“We are determined to ensure that the actions of an individual do not undermine the professionalism and commitment displayed every single day by our officers, staff and volunteers to the communities we are proud to serve.”
Northumbria Police and Crime Commissioner, Kim McGuinness, said: “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.
" It is clear that these behaviours fell well below the standards expected from a police officer and it is only right that strong action is taken. Northumbria Police works hard to ensure inclusivity for all and there is no place for anyone who is not committed to honouring this value.”
She added: “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.
“We assessed the comments made on Facebook as a whole 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.”