A video of the incident, which shows one officer saying “you’re not dressed for the climate” and another adding that the man’s outfit “just seems odd”, has been circulated on social media.
A black man wearing a coat was stopped and searched by police after officers said he was “not dressed for the climate”.
Eric Taylor, who also goes by Carter Jr, was on his way to work after a shopping trip to buy toilet rolls on Wednesday.
The man was detained in what police described as “an area well known for drug dealing” in Croydon, south London.
Footage shared on TikTok, which has been viewed more than 400,000 times,
showed one officer saying “you’re not dressed for the climate” and another adding that the man’s outfit “just seems odd”.
Police say the footage shows just a small part of the incident and asked people “not to rush to judgement”.
The video, which was filmed by the detained man, shows him saying he’ll take off his coat if they buy him a new one.
At one point he can be heard asking the officers “who tells me how to dress?”
Mr. Taylor told ITV that the officers were “giggling like kids” and that he was left feeling “like I’m a stranger in this country.”
“The evidence is right there in the video,” he wrote on TikTok.
“It will be played over in court and we will see if they have the same humour when they get punished.
“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”.
He said there were white children walking past wearing jackets while he was being searched, but the officers did not stop them.
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.
“There were a lot of kids walking by with jackets on and they were white, they were not Black.”
The 20-year-old says that the police had no reason to suspect him as he questioned their use of police powers.
He said: “For them to say that and use that kind of term that we’re searching you under Section 23 (Misuse of Drugs Act 1971), I’ve read Section 23. I can choose for you not to search me unless you’ve got something to show I’m a suspect.
“But there was nothing to suggest that I was a suspect, I’m just going about my day-to-day business. I’m holding a toilet roll in my hands. I’m not smoking or doing anything that will make the police think I’m a threat to the public. I was not doing any of 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.
He was detained and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and he “went on his way” when nothing was found.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill, of the Violent Crime Taskforce, said: “We are aware of footage circulating on social media; this shows only a small part of this incident and we would ask people not to rush to judgement.
“In this instance, a formal complaint has been received and is being handled in accordance with the Police Reform Act.
“This will include a review of all the available footage, including the officer’s body-worn video.
“Our officers have to conduct themselves in the most challenging of circumstances and it is right their actions should be subject to public scrutiny.”
The video has circulated on social media with users calling the search “unfair” and that a person cannot be “prohibited to wear a coat”.
One man wrote: “I am really struggling to understand why a black man would get arrested for wearing a coat! Is this what the MET police are now tasked to do?”
A woman wrote: “I went out earlier in the week in my thick coat as I had the sniffles and genuinely felt awful. I’m blonde and white so of course, no one is going to stop me. Met Police needs a total shake-up.”
Author: Andrew Collins