Bradford City footballer Ben Richards-Everton is considering taking legal action against West Midlands Police after he was stopped, handcuffed and threatened with taser by officers while driving his girlfriend to the shops.
The League Two footballer was driving a new Range Rover through Sutton Coldfield last month with his girlfriend when he was stopped and handcuffed while police searched his car.
In a video taken by his girlfriend, Richards-Everton is seen asking why he is being handcuffed, before noticing that another police officer is holding a taser in his hands.
“Are you recording this?” he asks his girlfriend. “Disgraceful. What’s going on right now, you’re doing this to me when I’m fully legal? What cos I’ve got a nice car?
“You pointing a taser at me?” he adds, to which the officer says: “I didn’t point it at you. I didn’t point it at you, if you look at their camera it wasn’t pointed at you, it was out but it wasn’t pointed at you. Be careful what you say.”
Richards-Everton responds: “Well why are you putting me in cuffs for? What are you doing?”
After being told to watch what he says, Richards-Everton responds: “No I’ll do what I want. I don’t care.”
He is told repeatedly to “say the right thing” and “don’t make things up” as the search begins on his vehicle.
West Midlands Police have said that the registration plate on the Range Rover were linked to ‘drugs and firearms’, but nothing was found during the search. Police have since said that they believe the plates have been cloned.
Richards-Everton confirmed that he bought the car from a reputable dealer three weeks before the incident, but is now considering making a formal complaint for the way he was treated.
A West Midlands Police spokesperson said: “Nothing was found in the car and it's now thought that the number plates, which sparked the suspicion, are cloned.
“Given the intelligence around potential firearms one of the officers drew a taser. It was put away shortly after without being used.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) will carry out a review over the use of force and stop and search powers following a number of recent incidents that have been caught on camera, including athletes Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos. The couple were stopped along with their three-month old police and handcuffed, in an incident for which Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick apologised for.
IOPC director general Michael Lockwood said: “Evidence of disproportionality in the use of police powers has long been a concern which impacts on confidence in policing, particularly in the Bame (black, Asian and minority ethnic) communities.
“But even with the numbers and the statistics, particularly from stop and search data, we still need to better understand the causes and what can and should be done to address this.
“In the coming months, we will be launching race discrimination as a thematic area of focus to establish the trends and patterns which might help drive real change in policing practice.
“Thematic case selection involves independently investigating more cases where racial discrimination may be a factor in order to develop a body of evidence to identify systemic issues which should be addressed.”