London mayor urges probe after police taser rapper’s father
London’s mayor called Wednesday for an investigation after British rapper Wretch 32 posted a video of police using a Taser stun gun against his father, after days of anti-racism protests.
The footage from a police body camera shows 62-year-old Millard Scott falling down the stairs after being tasered during a raid at his north London home in April.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said he had asked for an “urgent explanation of this distressing incident” and called for the Independent Office for Police Conduct to investigate.
“It’s absolutely vital that our police service retains the trust of the communities it serves,” he tweeted.
The video was posted online by musician Wretch 32, real name Jermaine Scott Sinclair, who had a number one hit with “Don’t Go” and has collaborated with Ed Sheeran.
“This is how the police think they can treat a 62-year-old black man in Tottenham but this 1 happens to be my dad #Nojusticenopeace,” he tweeted.
London’s Metropolitan Police said it reviewed the case and found no misconduct but the incident highlights the distrust that exists between the force and many communities.
Britain has been rocked by days of anti-racism protests, some of them violent, sparked by the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man, in US police custody.
In a rare personal intervention, Britain’s most senior ethnic minority police officer, Met assistant commissioner Neil Basu, expressed his own horror at Floyd’s death.
He acknowledged the anger at discrimination in Britain, saying: “We need to listen to our communities, and our people, and focus on what we in the UK can do better.”
Basu said he hoped Floyd’s death would be a “moment for change” for US police, just as the 1993 racist murder of black teenager Stephen Lawrence was in Britain.
– ‘A long way to go’ -A 1999 review into the case found British police were “institutionally racist”.
Basu said there had been “real” progress since then but “we must confront the fact that with many of our communities — especially the black community — we still have a long way to go”.
Lawrence’s father Neville, who spent years fighting for justice, said the reforms needed have “fallen way, way short”.
“Some people still think the police are not there for them,” he told The Guardian.
Wretch 32’s video shows officers entering the home and shouting “Police officer with a taser, stay where you are!” before a man falls apparently unconscious down the stairs.
In a statement, the Met said officers visited the home on April 21 to “carry out arrest enquiries as part of a long-running operation to tackle drugs supply linked to serious violence”.
“As officers entered the premises, a man came downstairs and started moving towards an officer suddenly,” the statement said.
“He was ordered to remain where he was but continued towards officers who, after several warnings, deployed a Taser.”
Police said ambulance staff were called and the tasered man did not require further medical treatment.
“The incident, including body-worn footage, has been reviewed by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and no indication of misconduct has been identified,” it said.
Two people were later arrested and charged.
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