Home London News Police corner black man, twice, for ‘wearing a coat’

Police corner black man, twice, for ‘wearing a coat’

by
Eric Taylor

A black man wearing a coat, who was recently stopped and searched by police officers because he was “not dressed for the climate”, has been cornered by police, again.

In the original incident, Eric Taylor was travelling to work after spending some time shopping. However, he was pulled to the side by police officers who decided to ‘stop and search’ him because he was allegedly “not dressed for the climate”.

The incident was recorded and posted on Tiktok, and at one point, he can be heard asking the officers “who tells me how to dress?”

Mr Taylor said that the officers were “giggling like kids” and that he was left feeling “like [he is] a stranger in this country.”

“This incident messed up my whole evening that’s what they don’t see.”

Mr Taylor, who works at a football centre and owns a small business selling drinks and sandwiches, believes that he was detained by the officers because “he is Black”.

Mr Taylor told MyLondon: “There were kids wearing coats walking past me…but it’s because I’m Black, that’s why (the police) do that.”

The caretaker claims that local residents came out of their homes questioning why the police had detained him as they proceeded to conduct a search.

He said: “The neighbours said, ‘why are you doing this? It’s not fair. Is it because he’s Black?’ They said, ‘look at this guy wearing a jacket, you’re not stopping them.’

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said the man was “wearing several layers of clothing despite the warm weather” and that he “became hostile and refused to account for what he was doing” after being approached by officers from the Violent Crime Taskforce.

The same Eric Taylor, 20, has video evidence showing him being ‘cornered’ by three law enforcement vehicles on Monday, March 28th, at 10:15pm when he was travelling to work from a restaurant.

Eric says he feels “scared to go out” and considered “cutting his hair” or “changing his looks” in order to leave the house without being suspected of criminal activity by the police, and stopped, then searched.

Eric said: “I’m scared to go out. Now I feel like cutting my hair or changing my looks when I’m going out. It’s crazy. I don’t even know how it happened to me again, just right now again. I’m scared now, I don’t know. Yesterday the whole night I was shaking the whole time.”

The caretaker had left work to purchase food with a friend, and noticed they were being closely followed.

The Londoner said: “My friend said there was a car following us and I was like, ‘why?’ I told him to just keep driving normal because obviously, we know that we didn’t have anything. We weren’t running away from anyone so we drove normally. We were followed for a good five minutes.”

Eric says he didn’t actually notice yet another car, but when they turned the corner, it blocked them in, leaving them unable to move. A technique often used against dangerous criminals with access to weapons.

The caretaker said: “There was another police car parked on Whitehorse Road. When we turned right there was one police car waiting for us. “It was like it was planned. Three cars cornered us.”

The 20-year-old says he felt like he had been targeted and that the police had no reason to stop them.

He said: “I thought, ‘I’ve been targeted.’ As soon as I got out of the car, they said I was shouting but I wasn’t shouting. I was asking them, ‘why are you guys stopping us?’ I had my food in my hand and my phone and they said they were stopping us on Section 60 [of the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994]. I said, ‘is it because you saw two black boys in a car? Is that why you’re stopping us?’

Eric has told the police that police actually handcuffed him, and that another one confiscated his phone, deleting the video evidence he was gathering of the encounter.

The Londoner said: “My phone was left on top of the car with the video that I was recording before they said they were going to put me in handcuffs.

One of the officers deleted the video, they started touching my phone and I shouted please don’t touch my phone, don’t delete the video, it’s for my own safety, don’t touch my phone.”

“She deleted the video, on my mum’s life, God strike me down, she deleted the video. I was thinking, ‘you’ve got your body camera rolling but you deleted my video. What’s the point?’”

Eventually, the police let him go but when Eric got back into the car he said he was “shaking” and that he felt targeted for speaking out about the stop and search days before.

He said: “I didn’t even eat my food when we sat in the car, I was shaking. I’m scared. It feels like I’m being targeted. I need to make sure I’ve always got my camera on because they can’t say anything. I don’t know who is coming to arrest me. I don’t trust some of the police. Sometimes there won’t be anyone there to see you or something, I have to get my phone ready.

“When I got home, I just sat in a chair. Ever since the first thing happened I haven’t eaten in three days, I feel empty. I feel so empty. I want to know if they are there for us or against us. Can we not work together? It’s crazy. I asked God, ‘why?’”

“I want changes for my people. Have I done something wrong? I ask myself, ‘why is this coming to me, why does it have to be me again.’”

Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill of the Violent Crime Taskforce said: “Following this stop, we are making efforts to contact and speak to the man in the video so we can listen and respond to the concerns he has. It is only by engaging and understanding, that we can continue to improve the quality of our stop and search process and with it the service we provide to Londoners.

“Stop and search is a vital power in our mission to drive down violence across London. The team involved here are specifically deployed to Croydon to drive down violence. As a result of stops carried out, knives have been recovered before they could have been used to harm others.

“We understand that there will always be balance to be stuck between liberty and safety and stop and search should always be conducted in a courteous and fair way, with officers explaining the rational for their actions.”

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