Anger has arisen over a video showing a white police officer detaining a black man, understood to be an off-duty ambulance driver, outside his London home.
The copper approaches and asks what he was doing, to which the man says he was ‘just chilling’ and getting some fresh air while waiting for a friend. He adds that he lives in the area.
Not satisfied with his answers, the officer asks if he has ID on him and if he’s ever been arrested before. She adds: ‘At the minute, you’re going to be detained for a drugs search alright? There’s loads of intel that there’s drug dealing in this area okay?
‘You’re here with your friends, there’s a couple of cars, and you haven’t really given me enough reason to believe that you’re here just seeing them – in the Covid-19 situation.’
The man appears calm and cooperative when the officer starts the search. But she quickly slaps cuffs on him after he tells her: ‘Don’t grab my arm like that.’
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Commenting on the incident in Lewisham, south London, lawyer David Allen Green tweeted; ‘Worth listening to just how the police officer goes from nothing to arrest. For those without certain privileges, this is sadly not an extraordinary piece of footage.’
Labour MP for Brent Central said she was making enquiries with the Met about the incident on May 21. At the time the man being arrested would have been allowed to meet one member of another household outside as coronavirus lockdown rules were eased.
The video was shared by school worker Dwayne Francis, who was detained by police earlier this month while waiting in his car for a post office to open on his commute to work.
He accused Britain’s biggest police force of racial profiling and said he has met with Chief Inspector Simon Corbin about the incident.
Former College of Policing stop and search adviser Nick Glynn tweeted: ‘This is the result of the Met Police’s 30,000 per month #stopsearch target. Who it affects is of no consequence to those chasing targets. We have had enough of this. It has to stop.’
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said: ‘Officers on a proactive operation to tackle crime in Lewisham on 21 May, detained a number of individuals in the area of Gilbert Road, SE8.
‘Acting on intelligence received regarding drugs activity in the area, a male was detained for the purpose of a search under s23 Misuse of Drugs Act at approximately 16.57hrs.
‘Nothing was found and the man was not arrested.
‘The man was provided with details of the officer who conducted the search, and informed of his entitlement to gain a copy of the search record and how to progress this in line with standard protocol.’
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