Monday, 28 Jul, 2008 Current Events
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Police Officer Downgraded after Referring to BMWs as "Black Man's Wheels"

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Police officials said that a senior police officer was downgraded after saying that a BMW model car is "black man's wheels".

The colleagues of Chris Pretty, an ex-Superintendent, gave him a BMW model car as a present at a party that marked his farewell as chief of training for West Midlands Police. The party took place in Edgbaston, Birmingham in September of 2007.

Two police officers criticized the "racist joke" of Mr Pretty, a respected police officer who led an investigation on black-on-black crime. The officer was brought in front of a misconduct panel. After the hearing, which took place last week, Mr Pretty was downgraded from Superintendent to Chief Inspector.

Two police officers criticized the "racist joke" of Mr Pretty, a respected police officer who led an investigation on black-on-black crime. The officer was brought in front of a misconduct panel. After the hearing, which took place last week, Mr Pretty was downgraded from Superintendent to Chief Inspector.

Anti-racism campaigners were glad of the final results provided by the misconduct panel. "These particular comments made by a high-ranking police officer merely add fuel to the myth that BMWs are only driven by black criminals. If West Midlands Police have seen fit to make an example of this officer and discipline him then I welcome that. But I think the problem of institutional racism within the police force is a deep-rooted one and reflected across society. It is not going to be conquered overnight," said Bini Brown, a representative of the Birmingham-based African Caribbean Self Help Organization.

One of the sources said: "Chris collects model cars and he was given one as a leaving present. He was a former captain in the army and is into hunting and shooting, but toy cars are his main hobby. When he opened the miniature BMW he joked: "Oh, Black Man's Wheels." It was just a joke. Cops seem to spend more time investigating each other these days than they do catching criminals. It's a complete over-reaction. They're obviously more interested in political correctness than letting officers get on with the job of tackling crooks."

Previously the members of Birmingham's black community applauded the officer. There was a time when he led Operation Ventara of West Midlands Police. They investigated a black-on-black crime. He was successful in bringing witnesses forward for cases of murder. West Midlands Police passed on the complaints about Pretty's racist joke to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

"He has been dealt with in the appropriate manner. West Midlands Police expects the highest standards of professionalism and integrity from all its officers and staff and has robust procedures in place to deal with behavior which falls outside those standards," outlined a force spokesman.

Source: DailyMail

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