Black couple 'made to feel like criminals on our own doorstep' after being stopped by police for 'driving a car'

  • Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rebecca Barry

A middle-aged black couple have said they were made to feel "like criminals" on their own doorstep after they were stopped by police in Ipswich and told to show ID for simply "driving a car on a road".

Ingrid Antoine-Onikoyi, 47, and her husband Falil Onikoyi, 50, were stopped in Ipswich on Tuesday after “glancing” at a police car parked near Ms Antoine-Onikoyi’s mother’s house.

Mr Onikoyi was told he looked "suspicious" by the police officers.

Suffolk Police have apologised for its officers' actions.

The video, filmed by Ms Antoine-Onikoyi has gone viral since being posted on social media by the couple’s daughter Maja, prompting Suffolk Police to issue an apology.

The couple's experiences comes as Black Lives Matter protests seek to highlight the prejudice ethnic minorities face in the UK.

An officer accused Ms Antoine-Onikoyi of "jumping on the bandwagon", thought to be a reference to the movement that has rallied in the wake of the death of George Floyd, an African-American man who died while in police custody in Minneapolis.

In the video, a male officer says: “At the end of the day, whether it looks funny or not, you were driving a motor vehicle on a road, so therefore I am requiring you to provide proof of drivers (licence).”

Ms Antoine-Onikoyi tells him: “You are kidding us right now. You can see why people get upset.”

“All that I need is proof that you are the driver of that vehicle, and you live here and we are gone,” the officer replies.

The couple, from Watford, had been staying at Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi’s mother’s house while their own house was renovated.

Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi’s mother is currently in the Caribbean island of Grenada.

The female officer tells them “You have turned something irate that shouldn’t be. You are just jumping on the bandwagon – that’s not okay”.

The male officer then tells Mr Onikoyi and Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi “you look suspicious”.

He continued: “You can argue and you can say ‘why, why, why the whole time’.”

Falil Onikoyi believes the police have not dealt with institutional racism. Credit: ITV News

Ms Antoine-Onikoyi tells them “this is disgusting” while her husband says “this is profiling”.

“You can laugh and shake your head as much as you want,” Ms Antoine-Onikoyi says.

"I was angry," Ms Antoine-Onikoyi told ITV News.

"We're not criminals of any kind."

"I think he was very rude, very unprofessional and disrespectful, especially with the Black Lives Matter going on. And our support for it."

Ms Antoine-Onikoyi told ITV News she thought there was racism and bias within the British Police.

Rachel Kearton, Deputy Chief Constable of Suffolk Police. Credit: ITV News

"The institution doesn't deal with it," Mr Onikoyi added

Rachel Kearton, Deputy Chief Constable of Suffolk Police, said she would "like to apologise to the couple involved".

Asked if she believed a middle aged white couple would have been approached by the police in the same way, Ms Kearton said:

"That's impossible question to answer, because that is not the encounter we had at the time," she told ITV News.

But the encounter has left its mark on the couple.

"It's made me scared to walk my dog, I don't want to go out," Ms Antoine-Onikoyi told ITV News

Earlier the force had issued a statement in response to the viral video: “Suffolk Constabulary is aware of the video circulating on social media involving two of our officers.

“Having looked at the issues raised by a large number of people, particularly regarding certain comments which were made on the video, we would like to apologise for the offence these have caused.”

Ingrid Antoine-Onikoyi said the incident has made her feel scared to walk her dog. Credit: ITV News

It continued: “The constabulary is very aware of the depth of feeling surrounding the events of the last few weeks and the issue of racism in our society.

“We always try to ensure we police all our communities with dignity, respect and fairness. Where those values are not met we will do everything we can to learn from that.”

Ms Antoine-Onikoyi said the incident has made her feel scared to walk her dog, while Mr Onikoyi said the encounter has made them more wary of the police.

But the couple say that while the incident has changed them forever, it has also made them determined to bring about change for others.