A former Dunfermline Athletic footballer is to take legal action against police after he was handcuffed by officers who stopped his car and drew a Taser on him.
Ben Richards-Everton, 28, who now plays for Bradford City, was pulled over by officers in Sutton Coldfield in the West Midlands after the Range Rover he was driving was flagged up in relation to drugs and firearms officers last month.
Richards-Everton, who spent two years at East End Park after signing for the Pars in 2015, had been leaving a shop after buying a bottle of Prosecco and said the officers approached him acting “quite aggressively”.
The incident on June 24 was captured on mobile phone by his girlfriend, and the ex-Pars centre half is consulting lawyers.
He said: “It was just a horrible situation.
“Two police officers approached me, one had a Taser, the other had handcuffs. I was not aggressive whatsoever.
“I did not know if they would Taser me. I have a heart murmur.
“The officer with the Taser became more aggressive. He said ‘put the bottle down’. He just started to shout. I think he had the Taser drawn for a reason.
“They took me in cuffs to the other side of the road. They said they were going to search my vehicle. I was so confused.
“He said ‘calm down’. I was calm.
“The officers said they had reason to believe I had firearms and drugs on me. I could not be further away from doing that. They searched the vehicle thoroughly.
“More police turned up. It was a shambles. It happened on a main road. There were other people around recording it.”
Following a search of the vehicle, no illegal items were recovered, and West Midlands Police now believe that its number plates have been cloned.
Richards-Everton said he felt he was treated like a criminal during the incident. He said: “Looking back, I think they were stereotyping me.
“I have been stopped for speeding in the past, you just accept the punishment for that. However, I am older now, I’m 28, I feel stop and search was not needed.
“I did not get an apology at the time. I understand the police have a job to do. They should have said sorry afterwards, there was no remorse.”
A statement from Bradford City confirmed the club is supporting their player.
“The incident caused our player serious alarm and distress, and, having reviewed all of the evidence made available to us, we have instructed our specialist legal partners to take the matter further – on his behalf,” it added.
West Midlands Police said: “Nothing was found in the car and it’s now thought that the number plates, which sparked the suspicion, are cloned.
“The man was advised of the reason for the search and he was released with no further action.
“Given the intelligence around potential firearms, one of the officers drew a Taser. It was put away shortly after without being used.”
Richards-Everton signed for Dunfermline five years ago and was a regular in the team that won the League One title in his first season.
However, he left in the summer of 2017 to sign for Accrington Stanley before joining Bradford last summer.