A black police inspector is suing the Metropolitan Police for racial harassment after two white officers stopped him while he was driving.
Charles Ehikioya claims he was pulled over while driving in Croydon, south London for “no other reason than the fact that they seen a black man driving a car”.
The 55-year-old has now decided to sue the Met because his complaint was not taken seriously.
The force conducted a review of the incident, which happened on May 24, and found “no evidence of misconduct or racism”.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Tuesday Mr Ehikioya said he was pulled over for no other reason than the fact he was black.
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.”
Mr Ehikioya said he had recorded the incident, which happened as he returned from work, because he could see that the officer’s body-worn camera was not on.
In the footage, one of the officers can be heard 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. 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’.”
In a statement released today, the Met said no action was taken against the inspector as a result of the stop.
The statement added: “While we do not underestimate the impact that stops of any kind have on the community, securing and maintaining the trust of the public is integral to the principle of policing by consent and to continue to do so, we recognise that our staff must act with professionalism and integrity.
“Any allegation, whether external or internal, made concerning the conduct of our staff is taken extremely seriously. We will fully examine each incident to determine whether the conduct of staff has breached the standards of professional behaviour.
“Where the conduct of staff is proven to have fallen below the standards of behaviour expected, we will take robust action to ensure that staff are appropriately disciplined and that lessons are learnt from each case.”
Commander Alison Heydari said: “The review found no evidence at all of racial profiling.
“There have been comments reported today that these officers, who carried out the stop, are ‘clearly racist’ and even ‘two active racists’. I cannot say strongly enough how wholly unfair that is based upon the evidence and the review carried out.
“These officers were simply doing their job and carried out the stop in a polite and professional manner. All officers involved in this incident, including the officer who raised the concerns, are being supported.”
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.
Ms Butler said: “Calling out wrong behaviour isn’t easy, it is in fact quite painful.
“A long-serving police officer, an athlete representing her country, a Member of Parliament. We are just the tip of the iceberg.
“The Met Police Commissioner desperately needs to show she understands the legitimate concerns of black Londoners.
“I have raised my concerns with the mayor of London, who agrees that the Met need to do much more to earn back our trust and confidence.”
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