Driver requests apology from officer who said he stopped him because he is black
A driver who videoed a police officer telling him he was pulled over because he was black has asked for an apology.
In the video, taken in Ely in 2015 but posted on social media for the first time last week, an unidentified officer says “we don’t get many young black males in this area”.
He tells the driver “no offence to you, but you’re a black male, I’m not going to lie to you”, saying that he stopped him because he did not recognise him.
When the driver suggests he has been stopped because he is black, the officer responds: “Yes, but not because I’m racist, but because in this area we have a number of people that come up to this area that are young black males that deal drugs.”
The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
The man, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told the PA news agency he was “shocked” when the incident happened and “didn’t know what to think”.
He said: “I’d definitely like an apology from him, 100%.
“And I wouldn’t like him to lose his job but he definitely needs to undergo some sort of training.”
The man, who was 24 when the video was taken, said he had been stopped by officers “for the same sort of reason” before the video was taken, and bought a pair of smart glasses to record future interactions with the police.
He said he was worried that if he posted the video at the time there would be “repercussions”, but felt compelled to make it public now in the wake of the protests following the death in police custody in the United States of George Floyd.
“I know what’s going on, I understand how people are feeling,” he said. “I can actually prove that the police here are the same even though they’re denying it.
“I thought, actually I’ve got the proof, so I thought now would be a good time to post it.”
In a statement released by Cambridgeshire Constabulary, Chief Constable Nick Dean said he could “understand why such a video clip would be concerning, especially with the current events surrounding the death of George Floyd”.
He added: “I want to be clear that it was filmed in Ely more than five years ago and we do not believe that any formal complaint was ever received in relation to the officer’s actions.”
The man who took the video was unimpressed with the statement.
He said: “It doesn’t matter when it happened – if it happened 10 years ago, it still doesn’t make it right. It still has to be dealt with.
“Also, there was no apology. Nothing whatsoever. There wasn’t even anything saying that what happened was wrong.
“It was just basically them saying it was five years ago and I didn’t make a complaint about it – but I didn’t make a complaint because I was scared at the time.”
He added that the incident had left him worried every time he sees a police officer.
He said: “The first thing that comes into my mind is, ‘are they going to stop me? Are they going to turn around?’
“I look in the mirror every single second because I’ve just seen a police car drive past – are they coming back? It’s crazy. It’s absolutely crazy.
“The paranoia that it’s given me from that is just absolutely crazy.”