Two British police officers convicted of misconduct in public office have been sent to jail in the case of a disabled refugee who was murdered by a vigilante who suspected the man was a pedophile, the Guardian reported Tuesday.
Bijan Ebrahimi, a 44 year old Bristol resident, had his body set on fire after he was kicked to death by his neighbor, Lee James in 2013. Police constable Kevin Duffy and community support officer Andrew Passmore were convicted last year, and are now set to serve prison sentences of 10 months and four months, respectively.
Ebrahimi told police that James came into his home threatened him just days before he was killed, but when police arrived at his residence they arrested Ebrahimi. Duffy had contact with Ebrahimi, but thought he complained too much and was a time waster.
“I’ve no intentions of taking any calls from Bijan Ebrahimi … I will speak to him at my convenience,” Duffy told an operator when Ebrahimi called authorities for help, claiming his life was in danger, the Guardian reported.
Passmore was told by Duffy to patrol around Ebrahimi’s residence, but prosecutors said later that he only drove up and down the street for a couple minutes. Both Duffy and Passmore were dismissed from the police force.
When Ebrahimi was arrested, a crowd outside his house cheered and yelled “pedophile” at him, the Daily Mirror reported. James was convicted of Ebrahimi’s murder and has been sentenced to life in prison.
There are about 15 disciplinary proceedings for other police officers and staff involved in the incident. The family of Ebrahimi, who was originally from Iran, have said the Bristol police force is institutionally racist.
— The Independent (@Independent) February 9, 2016
“Our understanding is there has been a culture of institutional racism and nobody has challenged it. They’ve been doing it for years and years,” Manizhah Moores, Ebrahimi sister, told the Guardian in December. “[The police] never dealt with his problems properly, they saw him as a repeated complainer. They disliked him for whatever reason.”