Walking or driving while Black wasn’t enough of a risk it seems. A Black London man has been stopped twice now by police for simply wearing a coat in warm weather, reported The Independent. Both times he was stopped, officers searched him for drugs.
Eric Boateng-Taylor, 20, said he was stopped by Metropolitan Police last week for “not dressing appropriately for the climate.” Per The Independent’s report he was stopped again Monday while driving a friend home from dinner in South London. He said the officers were notified of a section 60 for drug misuse, meaning officers have the right to search people without reasonable grounds.
Boateng-Taylor took a video of the incident.
From The Independent:
In the video posted on Mr Boateng-Taylor’s social media he says “we are being followed by police right now,” and seconds later a black police car with blue sirens halts in front of their vehicle bringing them to a stop.
“You see what I’m talking about, you see what I’m talking about,” Mr Boateng-Taylor says in the video before officers open the door of the car and to which he explains to officers that “I’m holding my food, no one is going anywhere.”
Officers then tell Mr Boateng-Taylor to calm down as he asks them why he is being stopped.
“It’s crazy I don’t know if I’m being targeted because of what I said or because of the colour of my skin, I don’t know,” Mr Boateng-Taylor said.
Boateng-Taylor said the officers handcuffed him as they searched the car and deleted the full video recording he took of the search, per The Independent. He also said the officers searched the bonnet, took the music player out and checked the chairs for drugs.
A spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police responded in a statement saying the officers were from the Violent Crime Taskforce and were in the area to “tackle serious youth violence,” per The Independent.
“The posts online only show a very small part of this interaction. A review of the officers’ body worn video has been carried out and, at this time, there is nothing within that footage that causes concern and shows that the officers conducted themselves during the stop professionally,” they said.
Boateng-Taylor told The Independent he’s scared to go out anywhere now. Who wouldn’t? After what we’ve seen of police brutality in the US, wearing a black hoodie is enough to indicate criminal activity.