Met police apologise to brothers stopped and searched after fist bump


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By Vikram Dodd, The Guardian

Force agrees to pay damages and costs in settlement with Dijon and Liam Joseph over 2018 incident

Brothers Dijon (left) and Liam Joseph received compensation for being arrested after racial profiling (Linda Nylind/The Guardian)

The Metropolitan police have apologised and paid tens of thousands of pounds in damages and costs to two young black men who were stopped and searched after officers saw them bump fists in the street and wrongly suspected them of dealing drugs.


The Met, battling to rebuild public confidence, agreed to pay damages and the legal costs of the two men, and to issue a wide-ranging apology. In an agreed statement, it said the two men “did nothing wrong to cause the police to stop them” and were of “good character”.

The brothers were stopped and searched on 27 February 2018 outside a Caribbean takeaway on Deptford high street in south London. At the time, Dijon worked in education as a mentor and Liam as a musician. Six officers were involved in the incident, no drugs were found and no further action was taken against the pair.

Dijon was handcuffed during the stop. Police claimed he was acting aggressively and that part of their grounds for the search was that the Deptford area was known for drug dealing. It was also claimed by the Met that as well as the two men touching hands, it looked like an object had been passed.

In the case, heard at the Royal Courts of Justice, the Met commissioner was the defendant, with the Joseph brothers the claimants.

The apology that settled the claim reads: “It being agreed, a letter of apology will be sent on the defendant’s behalf to each claimant acknowledging they are men of good character who did nothing wrong to cause the police to stop them on 27th February 2018, that they found the experience traumatic and humiliating, that their prior experiences of stop and search reflect those of other young black men in London over many years, and that the defendant is publicly committed to rebuilding the trust and confidence of the black communities in policing.”


Liam Joseph said: “We have waited almost five years for this apology from the police and for my brother and I to finally feel fully vindicated. We brought this case not just for us but for our community, to show that you can and should stand up against the police treating young black men like criminals for no reason.”

Carolynn Gallwey, the solicitor for the brothers, said: “This case joins a growing list of successful claims against the commissioner by young black men who have been unfairly targeted by police over many years using stop and search powers. Well-meaning words are not enough: the commissioner now needs to openly acknowledge that the stop and search tactic needs total review and reform.”

Discover other accusations of racial profiling in the original article.

Racial profiling is rampant in the USA, happening while walking home, buying snacks and helping neighbors.

More breaking news here.

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