A black Londoner who said he was subjected to a strip search and placed in a “headlock” while walking his dog and paid £30,000 in damages for the incident accused the Metropolitan Police of racism.
After being unlawfully stopped and searched by white plains officer PC Duncan Bullock in December 2012, Zac Sharif-Ali had a mental collapse.
The Met finally conceded last month that the search and headlock that left Sharif-Ali “gasping for air” was unlawful after a decade-long struggle for justice.
Bullock failed to introduce himself properly and omitted to provide his name or rank.
Sharif-Ali, a postman and aspiring musician, was freed without being charged later that day, according to The Observer.
After receiving damages in the amount of £30,000, Mr. Sharif-civil Ali’s claim for compensation was dismissed.
It is “a matter of sorrow,” according to a letter from the Met’s standards department, because Sharif-Ali was illegally searched.
I realize the worry and anguish this event has caused you, and on behalf of the Metropolitan police force, I would like to apologize to you.
However, the letter made no attempt to apologize for any use of force.
According to the publication, the Met still maintains that Sharif-Ali was not apprehended because of the color of his skin.
Additionally, it disputes the use of any improper restraints or the protracted neck hold Sharif-Ali endured.
Bullock’s technique of restraint looked to be in conflict with established training protocols, according to a study by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
The investigation revealed that other officers were taken aback by the PC’s behavior, which they said “came out of nowhere” and rendered Sharif-Ali essentially speechless.
One testified to the committee that while placing Sharif-Ali in handcuffs, Bullock placed him in a headlock, knocked him to the ground, and struck him twice in the shoulder.
Although a Met hearing the following year ruled Bullock had’reasonable reasons’ to search Sharif-Ali and did not use excessive force, the 2017 investigation found that Bullock had charges of misconduct and excessive force to answer.
What did I get for being choked to the point where I thought I might die, Sharif-Ali asked The Observer?
What did I get in return for being humiliated and stripped naked? What did I get in return for my suffering from years of mental illness and trauma?
“No officer has faced punishment.” The Met has dragged this out for 10 years. I haven’t been able to heal and move on.
‘It’s like they have gone out of their way to aggravate my pain.’
The police misconduct victim was walking his dog and eating a sandwich when accosted by the officer.
Sharif-Ali added: ‘What else is there other than the colour of my skin that would make him think I was doing anything illegal?’
Bullock told the IOPC he approached Sharif-Ali because he was ‘hanging about the park’, later saying he was on his phone in a known drug-dealing hotspot.
When originally questioned why he brought in the postman, Bullock did not mention the phone.
The committee, however, concluded that this justification was “poorly substantiated,” with even Bullock acknowledging that his arguments “sounded extremely weak.”
Police officers may only use physical force to stop a crime from happening or to make an arrest.
Despite Bullock’s justification for bringing Mr. Sharif-Ali in, he was not detained on suspicion of any drug-related offenses.
Sharif-Ali, according to his attorney, was the victim of a serious abuse of authority.
“The Met have showed no remorse for their conduct,” Iain Gould said. “If anything, they appear to have taken satisfaction in fighting PC Bullock’s corner and placing as many roadblocks in the way of my client’s struggle for justice.”
The Metropolitan Police Department declared: “We do not underestimate the impact the use of stop and search can have.
We are redoubling our efforts to listen, engage, and explain why we do what we do, and we are making improvements based on individuals’ lived experience to build trust in the tactic.”