Police watchdog launches investigation after Black woman wrongly handcuffed in London

Police watchdog launches investigation after Black woman wrongly handcuffed in London

Video shows woman, wrongly accused of bus fare evasion, being held by 2 male officers in Croydon while her child could be heard crying in background

By Burak Bir

LONDON (AA) - The police watchdog confirmed Friday that it has started gathering evidence as part of the investigation into police officers who handcuffed a Black woman wrongly accused of bus fare evasion in the UK last week.

A video, which went viral on social media, showed the woman being held by two male officers during the incident in Croydon, south London, on July 21, while her child could be heard crying in the background.

As the woman's arms were being held, she was heard shouting in the footage.

However, the woman was later released when it was confirmed she actually had paid the fare.

In a statement, the police said that the video and circumstances “look concerning,” however, “it is a snapshot of a wider incident.”

It added that the woman was arrested after she did not comply with a revenue inspector’s request to check that she paid her fare: “When asked to stop by police she attempted to walk off and became abusive.”

On Tuesday, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a police complaints watchdog for England and Wales, said: "We received a complaint referral from the MPS (Metropolitan Police Service) on Monday afternoon, which alleges that the woman, who is Black, was racially profiled and was also verbally abused by an officer."

In response to Anadolu's question, the IOPC confirmed that an investigation has been launched.

"We have begun gathering evidence," said an IOPC spokesperson via e-mail, adding that they cannot comment further as the “investigation is in very early stages."

Meanwhile, a group of people carrying various banners held a protest outside the police station in Croydon on Tuesday. One of the banners read: "We Do Not Trust the Police."

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