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Police officer ‘racially profiled’ driver during stop and search

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Original article from Kent Live

A Metropolitan Police officer who was found to have racially profiled a driver has been asked to 'reflect and learn' from the incident

The 27-year-old was handcuffed, searched and tasered during a stop and search on Old Kent Road on May 2 last year.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) investigation "found evidence that racial bias played a part", after the driver made a complaint.

He claimed to have been stopped "due to his race" and said there was "excessive use of force" by the officer.


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The IOPC: "Officers gave a number of reasons for conducting the search, including how the man was driving the car and his alleged refusal to stop or get out of the vehicle when asked.

"Based on the evidence gathered, we found a case to answer for three of the man’s six complaints."

The complaints included: "an officer did not provide adequate grounds for a stop and search, that he had been stopped due to his race, that excessive use of force was used during the incident, that damage to his vehicle and mobile phone occurred during the search, and officers failed to observe data protection legislation and social distancing rules."

What happened?

The driver was pulled over by police, after being observed driving down Old Kent Road in South London.

The driver was put in handcuffs, whereas his three passengers were not.

Officers worked in pairs as they searched the car and each passenger, under the Misuse of Drugs Act.

The officer in question was found to have breached coronavirus force policy as he failed to wear PPE during the time of the stop and search.

It was found that the officer, instead of using other tactics to "de-escalate" the situation, instead used the 'red-dot' function of a taser on the man.

Despite this, the IOPC could not find evidence of "excessive force".

The statement added: "We found that one officer had a case to answer for misconduct due to bias as he racially profiled the man during the incident, did not provide adequate grounds for the stop and failed to follow the guidance provided by the College of Policing."

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: "Stop and search is an important policing tool but can also be very intrusive and affect the trust and confidence that black communities have in the police service.

"It is vital it is used with care.

"Our investigation found evidence that racial bias played a part in an officer’s decision to stop the member of the public and the officer will now have to reflect and learn from this.

"It is this sort of incident that can undermine the legitimacy of stop and search as a policing tactic.

"For those members of the community affected disproportionally by the use of stop and search, they must have confidence that racial bias plays no part in how this policing power is used."

Original Article