Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Police reinvestigate stop-and-search where Asian man’s car window was smashed

(Joe Giddens/PA)
(Joe Giddens/PA)

A police reinvestigation of a stop-and-search in which a South Asian man’s car window was smashed shows failings on “both an individual and organisational level”, a lawyer has claimed.

The City of London Police probe into the stop-and-search of Ryan Colaco has identified areas for “organisational and individual learning”, the force said.

Sophie Khan, lawyer and legal director at Just For Public Law, who is representing Mr Colaco, said the force “has a window of opportunity to change the way they police black and minority ethnic Londoners”.

Mr Colaco was stopped on suspicion of carrying drugs near Cannon Street station in central London during lockdown on May 29 2020.

Ryan Colaço.
Ryan Colaco says he has was ‘heavily discriminated against’ (Ryan Colaco/PA)

An officer smashed his driver’s window with a baton, he was pulled from the vehicle, put on the floor, handcuffed, put against a wall, then driven to a police station and strip searched, where nothing illicit was found.

The officers involved claimed he acted suspiciously by allegedly closing his front windows, appearing to slide down in his seat as if hiding, and reaching towards his waistband, the new report revealed.

Shortly before the incident, he was interviewed by Channel 4 News on the racial profiling of black and minority ethnic people by the Metropolitan Police, after an incident when police allegedly wrongly said there was a “smell of cannabis” coming from his window.

Mr Colaco, 32, of east London, a location manager in the film industry, made a complaint about the “institutionally racist” system after the incident, and told police he has “never been involved with cannabis or illegal drugs”.

City of London Police have completed a reinvestigation report after Mr Colaco sought a review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), a police watchdog.

The reinvestigation consulted a representative of the City of London Police Black Police Association, who said body-worn video footage captured by officers “does not support the statements from officers that Mr Colaco is fiddling with his waistband in an attempt to hide something”.

They said officers’ assumption that “Mr Colaco is in the area to sell drugs is difficult to understand”, adding that the smashing of the driver’s window “clearly raises a risk of injury to Mr Colaco”.

They added: “At one point there appeared to be 12 officers at the scene. Was this necessary considering the officers were dealing with one individual that was not going anywhere?”

The report, given to the PA news agency by Mr Colaco’s lawyer after City of London Police said it was not a public document, reveals officers did not have any specific intelligence relating to the complainant or his vehicle which could have generated grounds to conduct the search.

In the reinvestigation report, Detective Sergeant Oliver Walker apologised for the “profound impact” on Mr Colaco, adding: “There is a consistent opinion that the incident as a whole could have been managed more effectively, which I agree with, and Mr Colaco could have been given more time to respond to the officers.”

The report also reveals that GoWisely, a process whereby officers should provide information to a person detained for the purpose of a search, was not completed.

It was also found that the officers may have had other options instead of smashing the driver’s side window to get into the vehicle, the report said.

The “tactic of gauging the complainant’s reaction to a false statement” was also flagged as poor practice, after an officer told him that local businesses had reported his car as suspicious when this was not the case.

In the document, Detective Chief Inspector Carly Humphreys said: “The officers appear to have an understanding of ‘unconscious bias’, although I believe all would benefit from cultural sensitivity training regarding the lack of trust and confidence which particularly black people have in the police.”

She added “there is no evidence the officers had acted with any racial or discriminatory basis” but still recommended “dip-sampling of the stop and search cases for these officers”.

The officers have been told to undertake refresher training on the use of force, the use of the National Decision-Making Model and recording of decisions and actions.

The report said Mr Colaco was primarily removed from his car by Met Police officers, adding: “It would appear that the Metropolitan Police officers were responsible for pushing the complainant against the wall to control him after a request was made for him to face the wall by a City of London Police officer.”

The Met Police have been approached for comment.

Ms Khan said: “It is highly unusual for the police to be faced with a direction to reinvestigate their original findings and then to carry out a reinvestigation on the direction that there be a set of agreed terms of reference.

“The agreed terms of reference allowed the reinvestigation to be focused on the specific actions of the officers involved in the stop-search on May 29 2020, and ultimately has resulted in a number of findings that the City of London Police failed Ryan on both an individual and organisational level.”

Mr Colaco said he finds driving “quite nerve-wracking” after the incident which “shows the mental health implications it can have on people like me”.

Detective Chief Superintendent Becky Riggs, City of London Police lead for professionalism and trust, said: “We take all allegations very seriously and the professionalism of our officers and staff is extremely important to us in the City of London Police.

“Our professional standards directorate completed a thorough reinvestigation of this complaint following an appeal by Mr Colaco against the original findings.

“This investigation identified organisational and individual learning which is now being implemented.

“This includes a reflective review of the incident, utilising an independent external charity to gain an insight of young black people’s experience of stop and search, and force-wide learning relating to how seized property is managed.”

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]