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We have a problem with racist police in the UK too

Discussion in 'Personal' started by Morninglover, Jun 18, 2020.

  1. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    This story is, in its own way, as shocking as many of those we read about from the US and elsewhere:

    Nurse claims Met police wrongfully arrested her because she is black
    Neomi Bennett’s legal complaint adds to calls for force to examine racism in its ranks


    As a white chap in his mid 60s, who has worked in London, I was never stopped in my car, by the police, nor approached when waiting in it (or indeed stopped when on foot). I suspect this wouldn't be the case if I was not white.. That shouldn't be the case. Read this extract from the article, and note the "reason" given for the police actions:

    "British Empire Medal for services to nursing, and invited to Downing Street in recognition of her work. In her opinion, they simply saw a black woman sitting in a car and asked her to get out to be searched.

    She said she was frightened and refused repeatedly to comply, demanding a female officer before she would leave the vehicle, video footage shows. After heated exchanges, male officers pulled Bennett out, arrested her and kept her in a cell for 18 hours, despite finding nothing incriminating.

    Bennett, 47, who has been working intensive care shifts as a locum nurse treating Covid-19 patients, has overturned a conviction for obstructing the police that night. Now she intends to bring a civil claim against the Metropolitan police for wrongful arrest, assault, battery, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution.

    Her case comes amid heightened concerns over the police treatment of black people, and UK protests sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

    Bennett is now so frightened that she has installed cameras in her car. She said: “I feel I have to protect myself from the police more than anything else as a black person in London.”

    Just after midnight on 4 April 2019, Bennett was dropping off a friend in Wandsworth, south-west London, on her way home from a day’s nursing shift and watching her father perform in an open mic music night. A police car pulled to a stop in front of them.

    Bodycam footage released to Bennett shows officers on either side of the car. One knocks on her door to raise concerns that her front windows are illegally tinted. (Court documents later established they were within the legal limit.) When Bennett tells the officer she is scared, he says: “I don’t believe you because you’re talking to police officers.” He tells her he believes she is hiding stolen property.

    The officer explains she is being detained for the purpose of conducting a search and that in failing to step out of the care she is obstructing that search. He promises that a female colleague will search her person.

    When Bennett refuses to wind down the window or get out, and later says she is calling a lawyer to check the search is legal “because this is what you’re doing to black people”, he replies: “You’re really starting to annoy me.” She insists: “I don’t know what I’ve done wrong.”

    Within a minute, the footage shows, he threatens: “Open the door or the windows are going to go in.” Six minutes later he and a colleague pulled her from the car, according to the police report.

    An official police investigation found no wrongdoing on the part of officers.

    Officers searched Bennett’s car but found nothing. “They kept saying to each other: ‘This is not adding up,’” said Bennett. “It’s like I wasn’t fitting the narrative they had. Irrespective of my innocence they were going to continue the process.”
    hamcguin and Burndenpark like this.
  2. lanokia

    lanokia Star commenter

    Sounds fine to me.

    Looks like more race-baiting nonsense from The Guardian... a paper established by profiteers from slavery, which supported the Confederacy, opposed the proclamation of emancipation, recently mocked the foreign surname Tugendhat and printed a racist cartoon of Priti Patel.

    Trash... contemptible divisive trash.
  3. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Hardly. This woman has no idea how a citizen should react when asked by the police to step out of a vehicle - something, incidentally, that has happened to me, and I'm very obviously not black. You don't keep arguing the toss and making the situation worse by escalating matters into an aggressive argument, you do as the officer asks.

    (In my case, the police wanted to breathalise me because they thought I was driving erratically - in fact, I had swerved one way to avoid hitting a hedgehog and then the other way to avoid its friend a few yards behind. I was allowed to go on my way after a calm, rational explanation and something of a laugh from the cops.)
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    WB, ms honey, xmal and 4 others like this.
  4. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    Seems like a good arrest.
    Police officers have legitimate concerns.
    Driver has obstructive manner.
    False accusations of harmful intent and racist attitudes from the driver to the police officers.
    Driver attempts appeal to personal fear.

    Watch the video and then compare it with the video which follows of a white woman falsely reporting a black man in a park.
    Similar attempts at manipulation based on sex and race from both which we do not see from men.

    Last edited: Jun 18, 2020
    Stiltskin and lexus300 like this.
  5. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    Awful for that lady. But ... I live in a rural area. I was once stopped by the police because I dipped my headlights and they thought I was a drug dealer. It was completely mad and the police lady officer was incredibly rude to me. My complaint was fully upheld in every way, but I didn't get an apology, of course. That doesn't happen. Had I been black I'm sure I would have attributed this bizarre event to my colour.
  6. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Perhaps police cars should have ofsted inspectors in the back seat to observe and assess? ... :D
    enyliram and lexus300 like this.
  7. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    It is not so much the recording but the descriptive terms used to describe the event.
    The police have been under huge stress but I have no doubt some are offensive.
    Sometimes the attitude of the driver counts as well as the colour, Yet how come only black get the offence, when they also pull over, in my part of London, the Asian and the white and are mob-handed around the dealers' car.
    I can't doubt the recording as I wasn't there, nor can I also say it was true recording of events. I have no doubt some officers are inclined to suspicion in events, and therefore want dealing with.
    However, we do need to avoid demonising the force with spectacular headlines as it once again suggests that racism is only one way, when from personal anecdotes I know it isn't!
    Alice K likes this.
  8. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    So you think Neomi Bennett BEM is 'contemptible trash', do you?
    monicabilongame likes this.
  9. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    You were driving erratically by your own admission. The police simply saw a Neomi Bennett, a black women, and assumed she was a thief.

    I wonder how they'd have treated you if you WERE a Black man, driving erratically...
    Burndenpark likes this.
  10. DrLinus

    DrLinus Lead commenter

    The police would not be able to tell this woman's race, let alone her identity, through her tinted windshield.
    lexus300 likes this.
  11. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    So who here has tinted windows? Seems to be why she was stopped. Have you ever been stopped for this reason?
  12. florian gassmann

    florian gassmann Star commenter

    Not according to their body cam evidence. She was stopped because they believed the tinted front windows on her car were obscured beyond the legal limit. They were subsequently found not to be illegal, but that is beside the point - the police had a legitimate reason for stopping her, as they did for stopping me. In such circumstances, you don't start arguing the toss and escalating the matter by preventing the police from carrying out their duty.
    WB, lexus300 and Oscillatingass like this.
  13. NoseyMatronType

    NoseyMatronType Star commenter

  14. oldsomeman

    oldsomeman Star commenter

    I didn't see the tinted windows reference. If [ saw a car with such windows I am suspicious as the local drug guys drive or did drive such cars on their calls. Not surprised the police might target them. Nor is a woman's actions when you know the police are shouting at your and you fear, but the police want you to open up because you might be destroying the evidence.
    Oscillatingass likes this.
  15. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

  16. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    At the start of the video the policemen tells the lady she is being stopped because she has tinted windows.

    I have been chased by a car full of black drug dealers. I cannot remember if they had tinted windows. The least of my concerns at the time ... :)
    oldsomeman likes this.
  17. burajda

    burajda Star commenter

    I got stopped by the police for driving in an environmentally unfriendly manner
    WolfPaul likes this.
  18. circuskevin

    circuskevin Established commenter

    Were you crushing hedgehogs? ... :)
    EmanuelShadrack likes this.
  19. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    I have tinted windows. Came wit the car. And also my last car. Nothing unusual in that. (Never been stopped for it either).
  20. Morninglover

    Morninglover Star commenter

    If the front glass was so dark they couldn't see in at all, it would definitely have broken the law. Again, lying police making up an excuse to be racist.
    monicabilongame likes this.

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