Black actor stopped by police for ‘looking like drug dealer’ hours before starring in play about racism

'I would hope this incident opens people's eyes to the still very prevalent racial issues in this country'

Lucy Pasha-Robinson
Friday 12 May 2017 11:25 BST
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Oraine Johnson stars in Sorry! No coloureds, no Irish, no dogs
Oraine Johnson stars in Sorry! No coloureds, no Irish, no dogs

A black actor has accused police of racial profiling after they stopped him hours before he was due to perform in a production on racism and discrimination.

Oraine Johnson was approached outside Dorset's Bridport Arts Centre by officers who, he claims, accused him of being a drug dealer.

Mr Johnson, who was starring in Gazebo Theatre's production of Sorry! No Coloureds, No Irish, No Dogs, said after the incident he would encourage the officers to see the play, which explores institutionalised racism and injustice.

“Outside the theatre before my show #bridportpolice pull up ask me what am i (sic) doing here! U look like a drug dealer they need 2 c the show!” he wrote on Twitter.

He said he hoped the incident would “open people’s eyes” to ongoing racial prejudice in the UK.

"An apology from the officers after they dealt with me would have been nice, after they in such small talk asked me, what am I doing here and you look like a drug dealer,” he told the Bridport and Lyme Regis News.

"I would hope this incident opens people's eyes to the still very prevalent racial issues in this country. I believe we still have far to go."

Bridport Inspector Neil Wood, said officers spoke to Mr Johnson in a "routine stop and account enquiry" and denied that officers acted aggressively.

He added that officers had conducted three other stops with white men.

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