Bijan Ebrahimi: Bristol murder victim ‘failed’ by police
(BBC) A murder victim who was beaten and set on fire following rumours he was a paedophile was “failed” by officers, Bristol’s police chief has admitted.
Bijan Ebrahimi’s body was found in July in Brislington after he was reportedly harassed by residents who believed he had taken indecent images of children.
Lee James, 24, of Capgrave Crescent, has admitted his murder.
Avon and Somerset’s chief constable said the force and other agencies would need to look at “what went wrong here”.
Nick Gargan said: “Why wasn’t that poor man better served by us?”
“It’s important for the statutory agencies and voluntary just to sit down together and go through whatever process is necessary to understand how we failed that man.”
Three officers have been suspended by the force while the IPCC probes the way it dealt with Mr Ebrahimi in the days leading up to his death.
He was arrested by police for breach of the peace but later released without charge.
The force has since said it “can categorically state he had not taken any indecent images and that nothing of concern had been found on his computer”.
Mr Gargan added that rumour and speculation about serious crimes in Bristol was “not that unusual”.
He said there was a “very strong community feeling” before Mr Ebrahimi’s murder but it was “very poorly informed”.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said four constables, a sergeant and an inspector had been served with notices of gross misconduct.
Bristol City Council, which housed Mr Ebrahimi, said it was “co-operating with the IPCC” and would launched its own case review which would be complete before Christmas.
In a statement, Mr Ebrahimi’s family said he was killed as a result of a “callous act of unimaginable hatred”.
They added: “Until those responsible for any failures are held to account, justice will not have been done, and others in Bijan’s position will continue to be at risk.”
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