Black MPS inspector to sue for racial harassment after being stopped by white officers
A black police inspector has said he has no choice but to sue the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) for racial harassment after two white officers stopped him while he was driving.
Charles Ehikioya said he had recorded the incident, which happened as he returned from work in south London on May 23, because he could see that the officer’s body-worn camera was not on.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday he said he was pulled over for no other reason than the fact he was black.
When asked why he had decided to sue the force for racial harassment the 55-year-old said that he had “no choice” because his complaint was not taken seriously.
He added: “In my view it’s not the whole organisation that’s like that, it’s only a few individuals that are causing this issue.
“It’s just sad that some people don’t want to hear it … I feel that has not been taken seriously and has not been listened to, but instead I am being persecuted, and I am not prepared to sit quietly.
“Therefore I have no choice but to react in the way I am reacting.
“Enough talk – action speaks louder than words.”
The MPS said in a statement to the PA news agency that they had received an internal complaint on May 24 but a review “found no evidence of misconduct”.
The incident took place in Croydon as Mr Ehikioya was driving home, with one of the officers saying he was stopped due to his speed and because “it looked like he had gone through a red light”.
The officer also asked for Mr Ehikioya’s driving licence as well as proof that he was insured to drive the car, that the vehicle had not been stolen, that he was not intoxicated and that he not been using his phone.
He said Mr Ehikioya’s driving was “unusual”, which the inspector strongly disputed, according to the recording, which the BBC has seen.
The two officers left the scene after Mr Ehikioya informed them he was a serving colleague and showed them his police badge.
When asked why he thought he was pulled over, Mr Ehikioya said: “The reason that I feel I was pulled over was no other reason than the fact that they seen a black man driving a car.
“I just feel they done this because I was black.
“This is well out of order and it shouldn’t be the reason why you go around intimidating members of the public, because I truly believe in the ethos and the tenet upon which policing was formed, that the community are the police and the police are the community – therefore there’s no ‘them’ and ‘us’.”
The MPS noted in their statement that no action was taken against the inspector as a result of the stop.
The complaint comes amid renewed criticism of police use of stop and search powers, with Labour MP Dawn Butler claiming she was racially profiled by officers in Hackney, east London, who pulled her and a black friend over.
The MPS defended the officers who stopped her car, with Deputy Commissioner Sir Steve House complaining they had faced “trial by social media” following the incident.