'They put me in handcuffs and searched me': Man stopped by police for wearing a coat
Eric Boateng-Taylor, who was stopped and searched by police for wearing a coat in 'warm weather', tells ITV News London's Vincent McAviney that Metropolitan Police officers need more training
A Black man was stopped by police officers in a Croydon street for wearing a coat in warm weather.
Eric Boateng-Taylor, who also goes by Carter Jr, was on his way to work after a shopping trip to buy toilet rolls on Wednesday when he was stopped by police officers who demanded to know why he was wearing a coat.
The local entrepreneur, who runs a car-washing business and has a drinks stand in Selhurst Sports Arena, was stopped in Dagnall Park, Croydon, at 4:47pm and told "you're not dressed for the weather," before he was stopped for a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act.
As the 20-year-old begins filming the incident on his phone, a male police officer can be heard telling him "I'm just wondering what you're wearing".
"I'll wear my own coat," Mr Boateng-Taylor responds, asking if the officers want to buy him a new one.
"I'm asking what are you wearing," the officer continues.
Watch Eric Boateng-Taylor's recording of the stop and search incident:
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.
After Mr Boateng-Taylor questions who should tell him how to dress, he is searched by the officers.
Footage of the incident has been viewed thousands of times on social media.
Mr Boateng-Taylor, who described the officers as "giggling like kids", told ITV News London they initially refused to tell him their names and ID numbers.
He said he feels violated by the search and has asked for an apology from the force. He also called on officers to be better trained.
"The evidence is right there in the video," he wrote. "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.”
A visibly upset Boateng-Taylor told ITV News London that the incident made him feel "like I'm a stranger in this country."
'Am I going to go out and get stop and searched for no reason?' Mr Boateng-Taylor tells ITV News London how the incident has affected him
A Metropolitan Police statement confirmed that a man had been detained in Dagnall Park, Croydon, for the purposes of a search under the Misuse of Drugs Act and nothing was found.
It said Mr Boateng-Taylor was "wearing several layers of clothing despite the warm weather" in an area known for drug dealing and was "hostile" when asked by Violent Crime Taskforce officers what he was doing.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill, 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.”