Senior black Met Police inspector claims he was racially profiled


A senior black Metropolitan Police inspector has claimed he was racially profiled by two white officers from his own force when they stopped his car.

Charles Ehikioya filmed the officers who allegedly followed him for two miles and falsely accused him of speeding and running a red light in Croydon, South London

The 55-year-old claimed the officers stopped him without justification and has complained of racial harassment to Scotland Yard following the incident on May 23.

But the force insisted it found no evidence of misconduct following an investigation by the Professional Standards Unit which reviewed the officers’ body-worn footage.

Mr Ehikioya told BBC News he refused to leave his Toyota iQ when he was stopped because one of the two officers had not yet switched on his body-worn video.

Charles Ehikioya (pictured) filmed the officers who allegedly followed him for two miles and falsely accused him of speeding and running a red light in Croydon, South London 

The inspector said he therefore started to record what was happening for his own protection, and the officer also then turned on his camera.

The recording shows the officer saying Mr Ehikioya had been stopped because he was driving at speed at it ‘looked like he had gone through a red light’.

The officers asked to see Mr Ehikioya’s driving licence and proof of insurance and check that the vehicle was not stolen and he was sober and not using his phone.

They claimed his driving was ‘unusual’, but Mr Ehikioya disputed this. The officer insisted his behaviour had been reasonable and Mr Ehikioya was being obstructive.

In the footage filmed by Mr Ehikioya, an officer can be heard saying: ‘Secure the vehicle, switch the car off, and just come and joion me on the pavement please.’

Mr Ehikioya then asks: ‘What for, why?’ The officer replies: ‘So we were down in South Croydon, and we’ve seen you come flying across the road at speed, and to us it looks like you’ve gone through a red light.

‘We followed you and from the distance you were ahead of us, it looked like you had gone a long way out, so you were still going at some speed. So if you come and speak to me on the pavement, we can have a chat with you there.’

Mr Ehikioya, who has worked for the force for more than 22 years, said the allegations were claims that could have ended his policing career.

Mr Ehikioya said he refused to leave his Toyota iQ (pictured) when he was stopped because one of the two officers had not yet switched on his body-worn video

Mr Ehikioya said he refused to leave his Toyota iQ (pictured) when he was stopped because one of the two officers had not yet switched on his body-worn video

He wrote in a formal complaint: ‘The officers did not believe or did not care that I was an officer, because I am black.

‘They are both clearly racist police officers pretending to be polite whilst falsely accusing me without any evidence whatsoever of having committed serious criminal and road traffic act offences.’

Mr Ehikioya, who is now suing Scotland Yard for racial harassment, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning: ‘The reason why I feel I was pulled over is no other reason other than the fact that they’ve seen a black man driving a car.

‘I just feel they’ve done this because I’m black, and this is well out of order, and it shouldn’t be the reason why you go around intimidating members of the public.

He added: ‘I truly believe in the ethos and the tenets on which the policing was formed, that the community are the police and the police are the community. 

‘Therefore there is no them and us, it should be one and all, because at the end of the day the police itself would not be able to function without the community, as well as the community not able to live in peace and harmony without the police there to prevent a breach of peace.’

But a Metropolitan Police spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘We can confirm that on Sunday, May 24 we received an internal complaint regarding a vehicle stop. 

The Labour MP accused police of racial profiling after the BMW in which she was travelling was pulled over in Hackney, east London

Metropolitan Police deputy commissioner Sir Steve House has defended the officers' conduct after reviewing the incident

Labour MP Dawn Butler (left) accused police of racial profiling after the BMW in which she was travelling was pulled over in East London on August 9. But Met Police Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House (right) defended the officers’ conduct after reviewing the incident

‘On Saturday, May 23, a driver was stopped by police while driving his vehicle. The driver, who is a black man, alleged that the stop was the result of racial profiling.

‘As is usual practice, local enquiries were undertaken by the Professional Standards Unit. Enquiries established that the vehicle was followed by officers prior to the stop due to suspicion of excessive speed at a traffic signal and onward. 

‘As part of these enquiries, body worn video [BWV] of the stop was viewed. The BWV of the stop showed that the officers communicated their reasons/cause for the stop to the complainant as they are required to do. 

‘The review found no evidence of misconduct. No action was taken against the man stopped.’

The complaint comes amid renewed criticism of police use of stop and search powers, with Labour MP Dawn Butler claiming she was racially profiled by officers in Hackney, East London, who pulled her and a black friend over.

The Met defended the officers who stopped her car, with Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House complaining they had faced ‘trial by social media’ following the incident.

But yesterday, the leader of the National Black Police Association said the Ms Butler incident was ‘rooted in a biased system that views black people as criminals or drug dealers’.

Inspector Andrew George, the new interim president of the organisation, told the Guardian that ‘we have to look at the processes which led to the stop being conducted’, adding: ‘Training, briefings and culture all contribute to racial profiling.’

He also told the paper: ‘We have to acknowledge the hurt the black community is currently feeling and respond robustly to the consistent disproportionalities we see in police use of powers.’

Former shadow equalities secretary Ms Butler, who accused the police of being ‘institutionally racist’, was the passenger in a BMW driven by a friend, who like her is black, when they were stopped on August 9.

She claimed the incident was ‘obviously racial profiling’.

Scotland Yard said the stop was a result of an officer having ‘incorrectly entered’ the car’s registration plate into a computer, to wrongly identify it as a vehicle registered to Yorkshire, but did not explain why the search was carried out in the first place.

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh has insisted officers did ‘absolutely nothing wrong’ and had ‘nothing to hide’.

But Mr George questioned the reason given for the stop, telling the Guardian: ‘I would ask why a vehicle being registered in Yorkshire and driving in a global hub like London is enough, by itself, to warrant checking the owner details.’

The National Black Police Association was formed after the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence and in the wake of The Macpherson Report.



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