In response to the unlawful detention of a Black mother for bus fare evasion in front of her weeping son, anti-racism protesters gathered in Croydon on Tuesday night.
The Independent Police Conduct Authority has launched an investigation after video footage of a woman shouting as two male Metropolitan Police officers hold her wrists and place handcuffs on her in a south London town on July 21 provoked fierce criticism and prompted an inquiry.
The woman was arrested after being accused of not paying a bus fare, but she was later released after it was determined she had paid.
On Tuesday night, Stand Up To Racism (SUTR), Black Lives Matter Croydon, Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC), and RMT Black & Ethnic Minority Members organized a demonstration outside the town’s police station to protest her treatment. Approximately one hundred people participated.
Speaking Out: Addressing Law Enforcement Trust in Black Communities
In the midst of a national discussion about the lack of trust in law enforcement among Black communities, speakers addressed the audience to express their disapproval of the woman’s treatment.
“I could hardly comprehend how they were treating the mother. At one point, they were attempting to place her on the floor; she was so distressed that it appeared no one cared. Everyone was simply standing and observing. So, I felt like I had to start filming.”
While Mr. Clement was “blown away” by the public response to the video and the outpouring of support for the woman, he expects similar incidents to occur in the future as long as the police crisis persists.
“I have been halted and inspected, as have my early twentysomething children. Nothing will actually change. But as the father of six children, including four females, I had no choice.”
Following the protest, the co-founder of Black Lives Matter Croydon, Glen Hart, stated to The Independent, “We believe that the way this woman was treated was a complete abuse of authority and an act of racial discrimination with impunity – and officers routinely get away with this.”She was not a threat, so it makes no sense that she was handcuffed in front of her weeping infant.
Founder of The Liberation Movement Denounces Police Corruption Amidst Troubling Reports
The founder of The Liberation Movement, Marc Wadsworth, stated, “As a Black parent in Croydon, I am appalled by the incident involving a Black mother at a bus stop with a valid ticket and a young child.”The Louise Casey report revealed that the Metropolitan Police is institutionally racist, misogynistic, and homophobic. Unfortunately, this will continue to occur because the Metropolitan Police is corrupt at its core.
Mr. Wadsworth, who founded the anti-racist alliance in 1991, which became Europe’s largest Black-led movement, continued: “There will be many more cases like this: George Floyd’s, Chris Kaba’s, Mark Duggan’s, and Roger Sylvester’s, until we clean up the Met police’s s**t house.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) verified on Tuesday that it will investigate the officers’ actions in response to a complaint alleging racial profiling against the woman.
Online video of the arrest shows the woman yelling “What the hell?” and “What the f*** is going on?” while secured and being held by two male officers.
She repeatedly requests one of the officers to release her and declares, “I haven’t done anything wrong” as a member of the public films the incident and inquires as to why she is being arrested.