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Insp Charles Ehikioya has served with the Met for more than two decades

Nigerian Police inspector sues Metropolitan Police claiming he was ‘racially harassed’ by white officers

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A senior black Metropolitan Police inspector of Nigerian origin  is suing the force over claims he was racially profiled by two white officers from his own force when they stopped his car.

Charles Ehikioya filmed the officers who allegedly followed him for two miles and falsely accused him of speeding and running a red light in Croydon, South London.

The 55-year-old claimed the officers stopped him without justification and has complained of racial harassment to Scotland Yard following the incident on May 23.

He told the BBC it showed an “abuse of power” and he was speaking out in solidarity with the black community.

The Met said it found no evidence of misconduct.

The 55-year-old had been driving home after his shift on 23 May when he was followed for two miles by officers and stopped in Croydon, according to his complaint.

As one officer approached, Insp Ehikioya said he noticed he had not switched on his body-worn camera and for that reason he refused to leave his car.

He said he then started to record the incident for protection, at which point the officer turned on his bodycam.

In the recording, shared with BBC News, the officer said Insp Ehikioya was being stopped for driving at speed and it “looked like he had gone through a red light”

The officer said he needed to see Insp Ehikioya’s driving licence and proof he was insured to drive the car, that the vehicle had not been stolen, and to check he was not drunk or had been using his phone.

He claimed Insp Ehikioya’s driving was “unusual”, which he strongly disputed, according to the recording.

Insp Ehikioya was then accused of being obstructive and the officer said his own behaviour had been perfectly reasonable, it can be heard.

Insp Charles Ehikioya said he was driving home from work in his red Toyota iQ when he was stopped

“These were alleged offences that could have ended my whole career,” said Mr Ehikioya, who has worked for the Met Police for more than 22 years.

In his formal complaint, Insp Ehikioya wrote: “The officers did not believe or did not care that I was an officer, because I am black.

“They are both clearly racist police officers pretending to be polite whilst falsely accusing me without any evidence whatsoever of having committed serious criminal and road traffic act offences.”

After Insp Ehikioya informed them he was a serving police officer and later showed them his police badge, both officers left the scene.

Racially profiled’

The Met said Insp Ehikioya was not arrested, charged or cautioned for any offence in relation to the stop.

“I believed I was racially profiled and received no apology,” Insp Ehikioya added.

“I have kids and a grandson, I would not want them treated like this.”

Asked why he had chosen to take legal action against the Met, Insp Ehikioya said he was “not prepared to sit quietly and be silenced”.

“In my view it’s not the whole organisation that’s like that, it’s only a few individuals that are causing this issue.

“I have no choice but to react in the way I’m reacting to bring it to the attention… Actions speak louder than words,” he said.

The Met has come under increasing scrutiny since the wave of Black Lives Matter protests in the UK after the death of African-American George Floyd.

About Charles Igbinidu

Charles Igbinidu is a Public Relations practitioner in Lagos, Nigeria

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