Black Met inspector stopped by police while driving home from work

By PA Media

A black police inspector has said he has no choice but to sue the Metropolitan police for racial harassment after two white officers stopped him while he was driving.

Charles Ehikioya said he recorded the incident, which happened as he returned from work in south London on 23 May, because he could see that an officer’s body-worn camera was not switched on.

Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said he was pulled over for no other reason than being black.

When asked why he had decided to sue the force for racial harassment Ehikioya, 55, said that he had “no choice” because his complaint had not been taken seriously.

He added: “In my view it’s not the whole organisation that’s like that, it’s only a few individuals that are causing this issue. It’s just sad that some people don’t want to hear it ... I feel that has not been taken seriously and has not been listened to, but instead I am being persecuted, and I am not prepared to sit quietly. Therefore I have no choice but to react in the way I am reacting. Enough talk – action speaks louder than words.”

The Met said in a statement to PA Media that it had received an internal complaint on 24 May but a review “found no evidence of misconduct”.

The incident took place in Croydon as Ehikioya was driving home. One of the officers said he had been stopped because of his speed and because “it looked like he had gone through a red light”.

The officer asked Ehikioya for his driving licence as well as proof he was insured to drive the car, that the vehicle had not been stolen, that he was not intoxicated and that he not been using his phone.

Ehikioya with his car.
Ehikioya with his car. Photograph: Charles Ehikioya

He said Ehikioya’s driving was “unusual”, which the inspector strongly disputed, according to the recording, seen by the BBC.

The inspector was also accused of being obstructive, with the 22-year veteran of the force telling the broadcaster: “These were alleged offences that could have ended my whole career.”

The two officers left the scene after Ehikioya informed them he was a serving colleague and showed them his police badge.

The Met said in its statement that no action had been taken against the inspector as a result of the stop.

Ehikioya said: “I believed I was racially profiled and received no apology. I have kids and a grandson, I would not want them treated like this.”

The complaint comes amid renewed criticism of police use of stop and search powers, with the Labour MP Dawn Butler saying she was racially profiled by officers in Hackney, east London, who pulled her and a black friend over.

The Met defended the officers who stopped her car, with the deputy commissioner, Sir Steve House, complaining they had faced “trial by social media” after the incident.