Double Standard: Chelsea racism suspect is ex-cop & human rights charity director
A human rights charity director and former police officer has been identified as being among the Chelsea fans responsible for the racist abuse of a passenger on the Paris Metro. He has apologized for his “involvement,” but denies being a racist.
The Metropolitan Police (MPS) launched an investigation to hunt down the “racist thugs” who prevented a black male from boarding a Paris Metro train while chanting, “we're racist, we're racist and that's the way we like it.”
The incident occurred after Chelsea’s Champions League clash with Paris Saint-Germain.
Richard Barklie, 50, a former police officer from Northern Ireland, was one of three Chelsea fans whose profiles were released by Scotland Yard during their investigation.
The suspect is currently a director for the human rights organization, World Human Rights Forum.
In his role, Barklie took part in a conference two years ago where he quoted Martin Luther King and Mahatma Gandhi during a talk on fighting racial discrimination.
The Sunday World newspaper in Ireland confirmed the former officer was on the train at the time of the incident.
The ex-Royal Ulster Constabulary officer, who has been suspended by the Wave Trauma Centre in Belfast where he helped victims of the Troubles, denies singing any racist songs.
However, he issued a statement through his lawyer admitting his involvement in an “incident,” which resulted to the victim being “unable to enter part of the train.”
The statement issued by Belfast solicitor Kevin Winters said: “We act on behalf of Mr Barklie identified as one of the people sought by authorities investigating an incident on the Paris Metro on 16/2/15.”
“We contacted London Metropolitan Police today to advise that our client is happy to assist with inquiries.”
“Pending formal engagement with police, our client is anxious to put on record his total abhorrence for racism and any activity associated with it.”
His previous experiences working with disadvantaged communities in Africa and India “undermines any suggestion that he is racist,” it adds.
Barklie is a Chelsea session ticket holder and has travelled to matches “for over 20 years now without an incident,” the statement reads.
It claims he “travelled alone” and has “no knowledge” of the other “thugs” depicted in the YouTube video.
Barklie denies being a part of any “group or faction” of Chelsea supporters, the statement says.
The suspect has an account to give to police, which will “explain the context and circumstances” as they prevailed at that particular time.
He expresses his “sincerest apologies” for the trauma suffered by the victim, known only as Souleymane S.
An ex Police Officer and human rights tsar spends his money, public money on touring Europe with Chelsea being racist. Disgusting.
— Tom Hughes (@hertstennistom) February 23, 2015
So one of those Chelsea fans was an ex police officer, how shocking I mean who ever heard of police being racist it just doesn't happen
— Joe Polish (@JMPolish) February 23, 2015
one of the racist Chelsea fans is an ex-police officer… surprise
— joe (@joexgriffiths) February 23, 2015
— kaileb (@K4113b) February 23, 2015
None of the Chelsea suspects sought by Scotland Yard have been arrested.
A police spokesman said: “The force cannot arrest people for offences which happen outside the UK.”
If a trial were to commence in France, the suspects could face three-year prison sentences.
Chelsea’s manager Jose Mourinjo says the club is “appalled” by racial abuse by its fans.
Five people have been suspended from Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge ground following investigations into the incident.