Eric Boateng-Taylor, the Black man who was allegedly stopped and searched by London police because the coat he was wearing was inappropriate for the hot weather, said he was once again stopped and searched by officers just a few days after the first incident, the Independent reported.
On Wednesday, Boateng-Taylor was making his way to work when he was stopped by Metropolitan Police officers, Face2Face Africa reported. The officers, who approached him in Croydon, allegedly accused him of not being in the right clothing for the weather. He was subsequently searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Less than a week after that encounter, Metropolitan Police officers once again stopped the same Black man while he and a friend were driving home after they went for dinner. The recent police encounter happened in South London on Monday night.
“I’m very scared right now, I don’t feel like [going] anywhere, I’m scared to go out, I don’t know how to explain my feelings but I’m scared right now,” he told the news outlet.
The 20-year-old Black man said he was pulled over by three police cars, and he was informed there was a Section 60 in the location for drug misuse. A Section 60, according to the Lancashire Constabulary, “allows police officers to stop and search people even if they don’t have suspicions about them.”
Boateng-Taylor said the officers placed him in handcuffs before searching him and the car. He said his friend was also searched. “I was thinking what is going on, the way they came it was like they’re coming for some big guy. If it was a section 60 why is it me being stopped,” said Boateng-Taylor.
“They strip-searched the whole car, checked the bonnet, took the music player out, checked the chairs. They always cuff you when they know how to handle yourself, they want to humiliate you,” he continued, adding that the officers allowed him and his friend to leave after no contraband was found.
He also revealed he informed the officers that their colleagues stopped and searched him a few days prior for not being in the right clothing for the weather, the Independent reported. He said the officers responded by saying they “remembered him.”
In the aftermath of the incident, Boateng-Taylor said the officers deleted a thorough video recording of the search – though he begged them not to.
Boateng-Taylor, however, also shared a video of the recent encounter on social media. In the footage, he is heard saying, “We are being followed by police right now.” A black police car is seen blocking their vehicle shortly.
“You see what I’m talking about, you see what I’m talking about,” Boateng-Taylor is heard saying. After the officers open the car door, Boateng-Taylor tells them, “I’m holding my food, no one is going anywhere.”
And when Boateng-Taylor asks why he’s been pulled over, the officers tell him to calm down. “It’s crazy I don’t know if I’m being targeted because of what I said or because of the color of my skin, I don’t know,” he said, per the Independent.
Responding to the incident, a spokesperson from the Metropolitan Police said the March 28 stop was “conducted by officers from the Violent Crime Taskforce who were tasked in the area to tackle serious youth violence.”
“The vehicle was stopped and officers deemed it appropriate to carry out a search on the man. Nothing was found and he was allowed on his way,” the spokesperson added. “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.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill, who is with the Violent Crime Taskforce, also said they are trying to reach out to Boateng-Taylor to talk about the incident. “We understand that there will always be balance to be stuck between liberty and safety and stop and search should always be conducted in a courteous and fair way, with officers explaining the rational for their actions,” Hill said.