Black man stopped by police 'because he was wearing too many layers in sunshine'
He was placed in handcuffs and searched for simply wearing a coat
A video of a young black man being stopped by police for "wearing too many layers" in the sun has gone viral online.
Eric Boateng-Taylor, who also goes by Carter Jr, originally shared the footage to his TikTok after he was stopped by police in Croydon on March 23. Their reasoning? He was wearing a coat and was "not dressed for the climate".
As you can see in the 40-second video, the 20-year-old stands his ground, insisting "I wear anything I want" and asking the officers "who tells me how to dress?".
The police claim to want to work to improve relations with local communities then detain a young black man for “wearing a coat” pic.twitter.com/26TXCSVAlG
— PoliticsJOE (@PoliticsJOE_UK) March 25, 2022
As the video ends, Eric's phone can be seen in a scramble as the female officer goes to place the young man in handcuffs and search him despite having no valid reason to suspect him.
Their defence was that it was "odd" he was wearing a coat on a hot day; a Met spokesperson said that police were patrolling the area which is "well-known" for drug dealing before Taylor "became hostile and refused to account for what he was doing".
The South Norwood resident was, in fact, about to start his shift as a caretaker at a local football centre and had nipped to buy some toilet rolls for the facility on his way.
Speaking to ITV, Taylor says he has no doubt he was suspected of having done something illegal simply because of his race, further noting to MyLondon that "there were a lot of kids walking by with jackets on and they were white, they were not Black.”
— ITV London (@itvlondon) March 25, 2022
In the caption of his original video, Taylor writes: "Everyone share this vid & @Metropolitanpoliceservice. Today I was being harassed by these 3 illiterate officers, giggling like kids when they were asking me idiotic questions like what am I wearing & why I look like I do.
"This bullying tactic they use is to get guys like me reacting a way they want so they can arrest me. This needs to stop NOW!"
The clip itself has seen over 600,000 views and has been shared extensively across different social media platforms. As is his right by law, Taylor asked for the officers' names and badge numbers, adding that they refused to do so initially; ITV also confirmed the Met would not release their bodycam footage at this time.
Taylor says he feels violated by the search and wants an apology from the force, who he believes need better training. He said he feels violated by the search and has asked for an apology from the force. He also called on officers to be better trained.
He went on to tell ITV News London: “This incident messed up my whole evening that’s what they don’t see... I feel like I'm a stranger in this country."
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