One night in December 2018 I went to a bar called Dirty Martini. After the night ended, I headed home. It was about 2am. All of a sudden, I was forcefully grabbed from behind and handcuffed. They then pushed me on the ground, without even identifying themselves as police officers. After this, they aggressively pulled me from the ground, pushing my neck from behind, whilst putting a strain on my spine and back, and making me walk at a 60 degree angle. They arrested me, took me to the police station and then threw me in a cell.
I was shocked and devastated, because I hadn’t done anything wrong. I was targeted by these two police officers, who I believe, were biased and had a prejudice against me. In the morning at approximately 8 a.m., I pressed the buzzer, which was in the cell. I asked for a lawyer, but wasn’t given one. The sergeant then asked me what had happened. I told him I was forcefully grabbed by two police officers from behind and arrested with no justification. The sergeant said the police officers advised I called them “c***s” and that is why they arrested me.
This of course was a false allegation, made up by these two police officers who had arrested me, to cover up their unlawful and unfair arrest. Why would I call the police officers c***s? It just doesn’t make any sense and it was a blatant lie. I wanted the police officers to provide any evidence of the false allegations they were making against me. They should have had body cameras on surely? I hadn’t interacted with the two police officers. I was just walking home peacefully; I didn’t even see the police officers. They didn’t identify themselves as police, they just forcefully grabbed me from behind, handcuffed me and arrested me.
They were very heavy-handed, using unreasonable force for no justifiable reason. The two police officers abused the power bestowed on them by the public. Police officers are public servants and should be held accountable for their actions. That is not following adequate procedures and abiding by the rule of law. They are bringing the Met Police into disrepute by making false allegations against me after my arrest, defaming my character.
I want the police officers in question to be held accountable for their unfair and unlawful actions. There are honest police officers doing their jobs diligently with honour and integrity. These dishonest police officers are tarnishing the image of the Met Police. I was given a £90 fine by the sergeant in Bishopsgate Police Station. He told me I can write a complaint and contest the fine. The Sergeant and the police officer behind the counter were very polite to me. Some police officers are nice people. I contested the fine of £90 as a matter of principle. The fine was unfair and unlawful, and there was a court hearing in August 2019 where I was found not guilty.
6 thought on “An everyday tale of police racism”
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This is a worrying tale
You were obviously targeted on the basis of race & the fact you were out late.
You could have been coming home from a late shift at work or been going to assist a relative, friend or neighbour.
The fact that you were not given the opportunity to challenge the officers actions at the time shows that this kind of policing appears out of control which is of concern to us all, it could be any of us at anytime.
I hope the officers involved suffered some kind of disciplinary action.
I am pleased you got some kind of justice but deeply sorry that you suffered this indignity & injustice from a force that is supposed to protect and serve ALL of the public.
Julian, this is a horrendous tale. Unfortunately, it is one far too many people with black skin will also have experienced. It brings home forcefully for those of us lucky enough to have been white that although we live in the same communities our lives are structured in very different ways. Racism within the police is endemic and systematic. But it is a reflection of racism in wider society. We need to change society and to build a new one on foundations of equality, but saying that in no way mitigates what happened to you. Solidarity.
I think you can get compensation for wrongful arrest. That isn’t the issue at stake, I know, but it is a little reparation.
[…] An everyday story of police racism by Julian Okenchukwu. […]
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