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Tuesday, 6 August 2019

Mother films her 'petrified' son, 16, during a stop and search and then confronts police with the footage - warning that they're ruining young people's trust

A furious mother who stumbled upon her teenage son being stopped and searched has warned that the policy is ruining any hope of young people working together with the police. 
Following the murders of three young people in consecutive months in the spring of 2018, BBC Three filmed a documentary called Our Borough: Love & Hustle, which followed the lives of a group of Tottenham residents. 
In the documentary, June revealed how she'd been walking down the road when she came across her 'visibly petrified' son Kaymari, 16, being stopped and searched by the police, who wrongly accused him of having a weapon. 
She later went to the police station to confront officers with the footage and made a formal complaint to an officer, warning that policies such as stop and search are destroying trust.
'If the young men won't come to you for help, then what happens?' she said. 'If they can't come to you guys, they take things into their own hands.' 
She added: 'I'm not only fearing something happening to him from his peers, sometimes it's what happens from the police,' she said. 

16-year-old Kaymari from Tottenham, North London is grieving the death of one of his friends who died in a spate of violence that's blighted the local community
16-year-old Kaymari from Tottenham, North London is grieving the death of one of his friends who died in a spate of violence that's blighted the local community 

June took matters into her own hands and visited the police station to speak to Sergeant Chris Weston-Moore about her concerns
June took matters into her own hands and visited the police station to speak to Sergeant Chris Weston-Moore about her concerns 
At the start of the documentary, June was seen telling Kaymari to be careful when he went out to buy food with a friend.
'We have a community, but sometimes living around here can make you sad,' she said. 'I've seen guns go off. I've had to administer first aid. I've seen victims and perpetrators.'
Sadly, the violence hit even closer to home when a friend of Kaymari's was killed. 
Revealing the impact of his friend's death, June said of her son: 'It was very difficult for him. He was grieving. He still is.
Kaymari's mother, June, expressed her concerns for her son's safety and future amid the gun and knife crime in Tottenham, but also said she was worried what might happen to him at the hands of the police
Kaymari's mother, June, expressed her concerns for her son's safety and future amid the gun and knife crime in Tottenham, but also said she was worried what might happen to him at the hands of the police
'Watching Kaymari struggle with that is so destroying. I just try and be there. I try to show them love, but even in spite of all of that, things go wrong. I'm not only fearing something happening to him from his peers, sometimes it's what happens from the police.'
Then, June revealed she'd been walking down the road when she came across her son being stopped and searched by the police. 
'I just happened to be coming down the road and thought "oh my goodness, what's going on here?". I saw people in plainclothes - to be honest I thought they were civilians, trying to do something to a young person, not knowing it was my own child. 

What is stop and search?  

In 1984, section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) gave police the power to stop and search a person of interest, if an officer has 'reasonable grounds' to believe they have been involved in a crime.
Stop and search, also known as 'SUS', is regulated by the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (Pace) and the Criminal Justice and Public Order Act 1994, and is applicable in England and Wales.
The practice is controversial, because figures from 2018 show that ethnic minorities are more than four times as likely to be stopped by police, than white people.
In fact, that number appears to be rising, with a report showing that the number of black people stopped in 2018 was 4.3 times higher than white people in 2018, compared with 2.6 times more likely in 2014.
In 2014, the then Home Secretary Theresa May introduced changes, which meant police were only allowed to stop people when there was 'reasonable grounds for suspicion'.
And it warned that officers who misused powers would face disciplinary action.
She introduced the measures amid widespread anger, particularly among the black and ethnic minority population, who said the measure was used disproportionately against them.
Under current stop-and-search laws, police are allowed to search a suspect if they have 'reasonable grounds' to believe that the person is carrying a weapon, drugs or stolen property.
Such justification might be that they have witnessed the suspect putting the knife into a pocket.
In March, Richard Cooke, chairman of the West Midlands Police Federation, called for emergency section 60 powers to be rolled out across the country.
He said that the use of the temporary order, which allows police officers to search suspects without needing 'reasonable grounds', would help stem the bloodshed seen across the country this year.
Figures in July showed that in London alone this year, Scotland Yard launched 78 murder investigations.
This month, Boris Johnson vowed to relax stop and search restrictions for police, in a controversial first full policy announcement as prime minister.
Under the proposal, police could be permitted to enforce 'emergency' stop and searches in knife crime hot spots, for up to 48 hours .
The changes could be unveiled within the next fortnight, and would wipe away all the restrictions placed in 2014 by then Home Secretary Theresa May, over concerns it disproportionately targeted ethnic minorities.
The new stop and search practice, which allows officers to search people 'without reasonable suspicion' in areas with high crime, is being trialled in seven police forces.
By Jessica Rach 

'So I managed to capture it on my phone. They were trying to get information on what happened the week before, but the tall officer said we believe he might be carrying a weapon.
'He wasn't doing anything. He had nothing on him and they cuffed him for 20 minutes.
'My son was visibly petrified. It's just not right. He wasn't charged. Kaymari has never been charged with anything.
'He's been stopped and searched before, officially four times. There's unconscious bias and it has to be addressed. Does it look like he's being profiled, yes it does?' 
Upset with the way her son was treated, the documentary followed her to her local police station where she spoke to Sergeant Chris Weston-Moore, revealing her opinion on the changes that need to be made in order for the police to win back the trust of the youths in the community.   
June captured the moment her son was stopped and searched by plainclothes police officers, when she came across the scene and realised it was Kaymari
June captured the moment her son was stopped and searched by plainclothes police officers, when she came across the scene and realised it was Kaymari
Kaymari was accused of carrying a weapon, but his mother insisted he was 'petrified', and had not been found with anything
Kaymari was accused of carrying a weapon, but his mother insisted he was 'petrified', and had not been found with anything  
Sitting in front of the Sergeant, June said: 'Even for my son coming here, he's mistrustful. 
'Once that damage has been done, that child - and those young people who witnessed it as well - go away thinking, "Wow if I see the police, the first thing I'm going to do is turn and run".'
Responding to June's comment, the Sergeant promised that they would investigate any wrongdoing to reinstate the faith in the police.
'It's really difficult and there's no easy quick fix or answer,' he replied. 'Get that complaint in, and then we as an organisation can investigate that, and restore some of his trust that we will do the right thing.' 

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