The Metropolitan Police have been forced to apologize and pay £6,000 to the family of a multiracial boy who was unlawfully searched and handcuffed. pleasemynews can reveal.
Jason*, who was 13 at the time of the incident in September 2018, was cycling home after having his hair cut with his brother and a friend.
A police squad car “suddenly” sped toward them, which Jason’s mother said left the boys fearful of being run over. Two white male officers then got out of the vehicle and one of them grabbed Jason, pushed him and handcuffed him.
The boys were released after 10 minutes and officers insisted that none of the boys had been “detained or searched”, although this was later refuted.
The family complained about Jason’s treatment and four years later they finally got an apology and a settlement.
Jason’s mother, who is a police officer on duty and asked not to be named, shared the story pleasemynews that she believed that if he had been white, the controls would not have taken place.
“I think it was racist. If they were white boys, they wouldn’t have been stopped — but the Met won’t address that by building it into the apology,” Jason’s mom said.
“Even if they take out the racing side – these are 13-year-old kids and there was no protection at all for their vulnerability. In my opinion, that was absolutely wrong.”
The Met denied there was racial intent.
The officer searched Jason for drugs without providing his identification or the reason for the search, the boy’s attorney said.
To justify the stop and search, officers linked reports of a vehicle break-in earlier that day to another complaint from four white youths in dark hoodies and tracksuits who walked into people’s gardens, Jason’s mother said.
“Nevertheless, here we have three black boys in t-shirts on bikes; Everyone can see that this was a stop because of race,” she said.
The officer also failed to issue a written record of the search, in gross breach of the requirements of Code A of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE), which was enacted to prevent abuse of power.
The incident has come to light after a critical report from the Inspectorate of His Majesty’s Police and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that Met police are not adequately recording stop and search areas.
The Met’s apology letter to Jason’s family, from a Chief Inspector of Professional Standards, seen by pleasemynews and dated May 2022, said it was “clear that the MPS fell well below that standard in this case.”
“Therefore, on behalf of the MPG, I apologize to you and also to your family, who were indirectly affected.”
The apology did not include an acknowledgment of the racial issue raised by Jason’s family and his perception that he was being “aggressively” treated while handcuffed.
None of the officers involved in the stop recorded their interactions with the children with their body-worn cameras, which were only turned on after the search.
But part of the incident was captured by Jason’s friend on his cell phone and used as evidence in the case.
“Without that record, this (case) would not have gone anywhere. So how many cases like this are there where nothing came of it because one word stands against the other?” asked Jason’s mother.
After a misconduct hearing, officers were told to think about their actions, which Jason’s mother described as a “slipped wrist.”
“Integrity is of paramount importance to me as a police officer. These officers were not of integrity; They knew what they were doing and had no respect for the law that was entrusted to them to carry out their duties,” said Jason’s mother, who has served with the Met Police for 20 years.