A black man was stopped and searched by police officers in London for wearing a coat in hot weather.
Eric Boateng-Taylor, who also goes by Carter Jr, was walking in Croydon on Wednesday on his way to work after a shopping trip when he was stopped by police, who accused him of not dressing appropriately for the climate.
The local entrepreneur, who runs a car-washing business and a drinks stand in Selhurt Sports Arena, was stopped in Dagnall Park at 4.47pm.
The 20-year-old was told “you're not dressed for the weather,” before he was stopped for a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
Officers explained that the area was “well known for drug dealing” and demanded to know why he was there “wearing several layers of clothing despite the warm weather.”
Mr Boateng-Taylor recorded the incident on his phone – a clip that has now been viewed over a million times on social media.
In the video, one officer can be heard saying “I'm just wondering what you're wearing,” while Mr Boateng-Taylor responds “I’ll wear my own coat,” before asking if the officers want to buy him a new one.
When he says that he wears what he wants, another officer asks again why he is wearing a coat and tells him “you're not dressed for the warm weather.”
“You're not dressed for the climate, it's very warm, it's hot,” she tells him. “It just seems odd,” her colleague adds.
Mr Boateng-Taylor, who described the officers as “giggling like kids”, has asked for an apology from the force and called on officers to be better trained.
“The evidence is right there in the video. 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 Boateng-Taylor wrote.
He told ITV News: “They put me in handcuffs and were searching me”, adding the incident made him feel “violated.”
Nothing was found during the search, the Metropolitan Police said.
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.”
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