A Black ex-soldier claims that police in Wales stopped and searched him more than 40 times in the last decade, accusing authorities of racial profiling. Phil Powell, who currently runs an eatery, told Metro that police “constantly” searching him has had a negative impact on him.
Police allegedly pulled Powell over eight times in the last two years. The Aberaeron resident also stated that he has lost count of the number of times police have pulled him over. Powell claims Dyfed-Powys Police are targeting him because of the color of his skin, and he has videotaped several of the encounters. He also accuses law enforcement officers of assaulting him physically.
Powell claimed in one of the counter-claims that an officer “kneed” him in front of his wife and children. He also claimed that two “confrontational” police officers pulled him over after closely following his car, and that the officers usually breathalyze him and check his tyres and insurance.
Powell’s encounters with police are also sometimes violent, according to Metro. The Black ex-soldier was allegedly “kneed” by an officer after being stopped and searched in May 2020. His car keys were also taken by the officer.
“The officer stormed out and asked why I hadn’t pulled over right away. “I was completely calm, but he was enraged,” Powell recalled. “This guy was trying to provoke me and suggested there were reports about a white van in the area that’s been suspicious or some nonsense.
“Before I could produce my license and registration, this guy opened my door, grabbed my key, and kneed me as he pushed past.”
Eight days after that encounter, Powell claimed he was followed to his home by police, adding that the officers woke his family up around 1 am to allege he was speeding. “‘It’s not nice. The police came to the house at gone midnight and they were banging on the door – we had two young kids at the time who were fast asleep who were woken up by it – which is disturbing for them,” Powell’s wife said.
“And obviously, it’s disturbing for my husband because he didn’t do anything wrong! He’s coming home after a long day in work just to be harassed by the police. It’s just totally unfair – he’s never done anything to deserve that. And it’s always happened!”
Powell also said he knows when he’s being pulled over because he has been racially profiled. “Believe me, I know the difference,” he added. “When a police officer comes up to you and instantly has an angry look on his face like he wants to fight, you’ll understand what I’m saying.”
He continued: “I’m 100% sure it’s racial profiling. Now it’s reached a point when, if I’m stopped, I’m just so angry I can’t help but let out my frustration. I’ve been stopped so many times it’s hard to keep track.”
Police in England and Wales can stop and search people if they have “reasonable grounds” to believe they are in possession of illegal drugs, a weapon, or stolen goods, according to Metro. However, some of these searches are conducted without “reasonable grounds.” Section 60 orders are what they’re called.
Statistics also show that police officers are seven times more likely to search Black people than White people. Dyfed-Powys police officers are also eight times more likely to search Black people than White officers.
“We are aware of the complainant’s concerns having received his complaint via the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) in May 2020,” a Dyfed-Powys Police spokesperson said.
“His complaint was recorded and his concerns were looked into at the time. It was found that on each occasion the complainant was stopped by police there was a legitimate and appropriate reason for doing so.
“In addition, there was no indication that race played any part in the decision to stop him. Upon conclusion of the complaint, the complainant was given a right to appeal the findings to the IOPC, however, he did not submit an appeal.
“The recent allegations have not yet been brought to the attention of Dyfed-Powys Police by the complainant, but a member of our Professional Standards Department will be making contact with him to discuss further.”