London coppers accused of waterboarding

Six Metropolitan Police officers have been suspended over allegations of subjecting suspects to “waterboarding” – the CIA interrogation technique that simulates the experience of drowning – during a drugs raid in north London last November.

The claims are part of a leaked inquiry into alleged institutional corruption among officers in Enfield, which also includes accusations that police evidence was fabricated and suspects’ property stolen. Senior police officers are most concerned by the claim that officers used the interrogation technique on four suspects during a raid on a series of properties in north London. They are understood to have pushed the suspects’ heads into buckets of water in a bid to force them to reveal the locations of drugs…

The claims come at a time when Scotland Yard is investigating claims of waterboarding allegations made against MI5 by the British national former Guatanamo Bay detainee, Binyam Mohamed. It will also reignite public debate about police conduct that was ignited in wake of the hundreds of public complaints during the G20 protests.

Scotland Yard has referred the case of police brutality to the Independent Police Complaints Commission which is in the process of an “ongoing” investigation. In February, Scotland Yard said 10 police officers from the crime squad in Enfield were suspended and another two had been placed on restricted duties after an anti-corruption probe into the alleged mishandling of property. Eight – including the six as well as a detective sergeant – remain suspended and two remain on restricted duties.

It’s easy to joke about the link between fascist-minded thugs like Dick Cheney and official corruption – in this case inside the London Metropolitan Police. More relevant is understanding how one follows on from the other. Corruption, cronyism, manufacturing evidence to use against those who officialdom presumes to be guilty.

It’s just the little crooks imitating the big crooks.

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