PC Frank Pulley is the main antagonist in Small Axe’s Mangrove but just what happened to the former police officer? Where is Frank Pulley now?
With racism and police brutality brought to the centre of attention in 2020, Small Axe and its first episode, Mangrove, are particularly poignant and couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
In Mangrove, we follow the story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of activists who were charged with inciting riots during a protest in 1970.
The chief antagonist of the film is a police officer by the name of PC Frank Pulley whose over-aggressive and overtly racist actions led to clashes with the Black community living in Notting Hill and the arrests of the Mangrove Nine.
But just what happened to PC Frank Pulley and where is he now?
Small Axe: Mangrove on BBC One
Small Axe began on BBC One and iPlayer on November 15th with the two-hour film, Mangrove.
The five-episode anthology series tells a completely new story in each episode and in Small Axe’s first instalment, we learn about the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black activists who were arrested and charged with inciting riots at a protest in 1970.
The nine defendants were on trial for 55 days and were eventually acquitted after it became clear that the motivations and actions of some of the officers in the Metropolitan Police were less than justified.
PC Frank Pulley in Mangrove
PC Frank Pulley, played in Small Axe by Sam Spruell, is introduced in the early minutes of Mangrove and is quickly shown to be targeting the Mangrove restaurant and its owner, Frank Crichlow.
Pulley was one of the most notable and notorious officers working in Notting Hill at the time and supposedly earned a reputation for his overly aggressive policing style and overtly racist views according to Bustle.
Following the arrest of the Mangrove Nine, the officer was one of the chief witnesses for the prosecution but his evidence and reputation were challenged on the basis of dishonesty according to the International Times and the members of the Mangrove Nine were either acquitted or received suspended sentences for minor offences.
What happened to PC Frank Pulley?
Following the initial protest that led to the arrest of the Mangrove Nine in 1970, PC Frank Pulley was supposedly removed from the Notting Hill area but according to Bustle, citing the International Times, he was re-stationed in the area in 1973, quickly prompting a number of complaints from residents.
Little is known how and when PC Frank Pulley’s time in the police came to an end but a 2005 article from Mute Magazine stated that he “retired from the police force twenty-five or so years ago,” which would have been around 1980.
The article adds that Frank Pulley “somehow managed to avoid the ‘disgrace’ of dismissal from the Metropolitan Police.”
According to Bustle, it’s not known where Frank Pulley is today or whether the former police officer is still alive.
Small Axe continues on BBC One and iPlayer here in the UK on Sundays until the five-episode anthology series comes to an end on December 13th.