Schoolboy, 14, forced to ground in mistaken stop and search in Croydon

·2-min read
Schoolboy, 14, forced to ground in mistaken stop and search in Croydon

A black schoolboy has said he feared he would die after he was forced to the ground by police officers in a mistaken stop and search.

De-Shaun Joseph, 14, was handcuffed in Croydon on Thursday after matching the description of a robbery suspect.

He was on his way home from school when he was stopped by several officers and forced onto the ground outside Blackhorse Road tram station.

Police say he matched the description given of one male within a group of thieves who stole a mobile phone from a local primary school pupil.

The schoolboy has been left scarred by the incident and doctors confirmed he suffered bruising to his back.

"I thought I was going to die," he said.

His mother Janet Joseph said she feared her son – who suffers from asthma – would be the next George Floyd.

"It’s every parent’s worst nightmare," Ms Joseph told ITV.

"It’s the same old story - every black boy fits the description. There’s no excuse for what they did to my son and the excessive force they used on a 14-year-old black boy."

Police say the child was thrown to the ground after he “verbally abused officers and became obstructive”.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said: “A teenage boy was stopped in Blackhorse Road at 17:27hrs after officers saw his clothing matched the description given of one male within the suspect group.

“He was detained for the purposes of a search, at which point he verbally abused officers and became obstructive. Once he was eliminated as a possible suspect, he was given a written record of the stop and search and allowed on his way.

Chief Inspector Richard Berns, from the Violent Crime Taskforce, said: “Our officers patrol each day to prevent violence and seek out those who would do others harm.

“Officers were responding to reports of a robbery involving a young victim and had to conduct their ‘on the street’ investigation under very challenging circumstances after some onlookers began directing verbal abuse at them.

“All officers understand that their actions are subject to scrutiny. An initial review of the incident, including body-worn video, has been conducted by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and no misconduct is apparent.

“However, a public complaint has been made and will be investigated thoroughly by the professional standards unit.”

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