Video of man being pulled over because he's 'a black male' referred to police watchdog

A video in which a police officer justifies stopping a driver in Ely because he's black has been referred to a police watchdog.

The video was shot five years ago, but the family of the driver has released it in the wake of the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

In the video, the officer tells the driver: "The reason I stopped you is - when you came out of The Barns [a road in Ely] - no offence to you, you’re a black male, I’m not going to lie to you."

The driver then accuses of the officer of racism, to which the policeman responds: "The reason I stopped you, and I’ll explain if you let me finish, in this area we have number of drug dealers - I’m not saying you're a drug dealer - that come up from other areas that don’t live anywhere around here."

  • A clip from the video (we have blurred the face and distorted the voice of the officer involved):

A formal complaint was made to Cambridgeshire Police - that complaint has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The video has been seen over 85,000 times on Facebook, and Cambridgeshire Police Chief Constable Nick Dean said he "can understand why such a video clip would be concerning, especially with the current events surrounding the death of George Floyd."

He added: "Here in Cambridgeshire we have been and are committed to strengthening our ties with every community.

"With regards to this particular incident, 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 circumstances surrounding this incident at the time are being examined.

Cambridgeshire Police have referred the complaint to the IOPC. Credit: ITV Anglia

Speaking to ITV Anglia on Monday the driver, who has asked to remain anonymous, said he couldn't believe what the policeman told him.

He said: "How do you stop someone because they’re black then tell me they’re not racist.

"With everything that's going on now, I thought that now is definitely the time to put the video out there and let people know that it is actually happening here."

However, he has not called for the officer involved to lose their job, but instead said training is needed across the police.

He added: "In my eyes I'd like officers to undergo proper training to do their job properly. I wouldn't like to see anybody lose their job, because I understand what it's like to be jobless and not bring in money, so I’d like them to undergo proper training and deal with humans as they’re supposed to."