A black man, who was stopped and searched by London police officers because the coat he was wearing was inappropriate for the hot weather, said the incident left him feeling violated. According to the Independent, the March 23 incident occurred while Eric Boateng-Taylor, 20, was making his way to work after going shopping.
The police officers, who stopped him in Croydon, allegedly accused him of not being in the right clothing for the weather. The officers told Boateng-Taylor that he wasn’t “dressed for the weather.” He was subsequently searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
The officers also informed Boateng-Taylor that the location was “well known for drug dealing” and asked what he was doing there “wearing several layers of clothing despite the warm weather.”
The encounter was recorded by Boateng-Taylor. He subsequently shared it on social media, and it has since gone viral.
In the video of the incident, one of the officers is heard saying “I’m just wondering what you’re wearing.” Boateng-Taylor replies saying, “I’ll wear my own coat.” The 20-year-old then asks if the officers are going to buy a new one for him.
And though Boateng-Taylor says he’s at liberty to wear whatever he wants, a different officer questions why he’s in a coat. “You’re not dressed for the warm weather,” the officer informs him.
“You’re not dressed for the climate, it’s very warm, it’s hot,” she is heard telling him. “It just seems odd,” another officer also says. During the encounter, Boateng-Taylor said the officers were “giggling like kids.”
Boateng-Taylor wants the Metropolitan Police to render an apology to him. He also wants the force to properly train its officers. “The evidence is right there in the video. It will be played over in court and we will see if they have the same humour when they get punished. This incident messed up my whole evening – that’s what they don’t see,” Boateng-Taylor wrote.
In an interview with ITV News, Boateng-Taylor also said the officers handcuffed and searched him, adding that the encounter left him feeling “violated.”
The Metropolitan Police said no contraband was found on Boateng-Taylor during the search, the Independent reported. “We are aware of footage circulating on social media; this shows only a small part of this incident and we would ask people not to rush to judgement,” Detective chief superintendent Lee Hill, who is with the violent crime taskforce, said.
“In this instance a formal complaint has been received and is being handled in accordance with the Police Reform Act. This will include a review of all the available footage, including the officer’s body-worn video.
“Our officers have to conduct themselves in the most challenging of circumstances and it is right their actions should be subject to public scrutiny.”
Imagine being detained by the Police because you are…checks notes: “…not dressed for the climate” Jesus…of…Nazareth! pic.twitter.com/02NIn9irNS
— Michael Morgan (@mikewhoatv) March 25, 2022