Ghanaian-British singer Fuse ODG has shared a video of him being harassed by UK police officers in Brixton, South London while he was with his business partner, Andre Hacket. The officers surrounded his vehicle, saying that they wanted to search it for illegal drugs after claims that they could smell cannabis from it, the Afrobeats star stated in an Instagram post.
In the video shared by the artist, he could be heard demanding to see the search warrant of the officers while showing resistance. In the end, FUSE ODG was forcefully removed from his car and handcuffed in the middle of the street in Brixton, with the officers stressing that he was being handcuffed to prevent him from causing harm to himself. After the artist’s car was searched, the police reportedly found no drugs and he was allowed to go.
The incident took place on February 28, 2023, “without warning or explanation”, FUSE ODG wrote, adding that he spent six hours at the Accident and Emergency department due to how tight the handcuffs were. He also experienced neck and back pain in the following weeks, stated the UK-based singer. It’s unfortunate that such incidents remain common for many Black people growing up in the UK, even after the George Floyd case, the singer said.
“In the past months, we have seen so many videos of police officers beating up and even kneeling on our black children in the UK. I know because a lot of the time they come to me for help,” FUSE ODG wrote. “The sad reality is that as a black man living in this system, it doesn’t matter how much money you make or the positive impact that you have on the world, they still only see you as one thing,” he added.
Even though the Afrobeats star said he had filed a formal complaint with the Metropolitan Police, he doubts if he would receive justice, thanks to the system. Figures show that Metropolitan Police officers are four times more likely to use force against Black people compared with the White population. The Met used force 159,000 times in 2019-20, with more than a third of cases involving Blacks, per figures from Greater London Authority estimates.