A 12-year-old child was placed in handcuffs, dragged from his home in the middle of night by armed police and arrested after a nosey passer-by saw him with a toy gun in his own living room.
His mum Alice Mina Agyepong, 42, who has 3 other children, said dozens of officers with sniffer dogs raided her Camden home and took her son Kai away, just after midnight last Friday.
Ms Agyepong accused the Met of racially profiling her family, who have never been in trouble with the law, after officers told her they had received a call from a passer-by who said they saw a “black male with a gun” through her half-drawn living room blinds at 11pm.
She said: “I’d fallen asleep on the sofa and Kai was next to me on the laptop. There was this loud knock at the door and they were shouting ‘armed police, get your hands up’. Kai opened the door and was handcuffed.
“My daughters came running down the stairs. I could see the little red laser lights from the police guns on my children. I just tried to keep them all calm because I was scared one of them was going to get hurt. We had to walk slowly out of the house with our hands up.”
Ms Agyepong said she and her daughters, aged 16 and 23, were made to stand in a neighbouring road in their nightclothes for more than an hour while police and dogs swept their three-storey home Medburn Street for a firearm and her young son was handcuffed in the back of a police van.
Ms Agyepong, a housing association governance officer, has lodged a formal complaint with the Met. The case has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.
She said. “My son had never even seen a real gun until that night. What must the neighbours have thought? It was humiliating. Kai is trying to put on a brave face but he is embarrassed. This shouldn’t be happening to any innocent person, let alone a child his age.”
Officers found nothing in the home apart from the plastic pellet gun which they let the family keep.
The incident has sparked widespread outrage with former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott questioning how police could justify arresting a 12-year-old and tweeting #blacklivesmatter.
Meanwhile a conservative party minister has chosen to blame the family over the incident
Nigerian born MP Kemi Badenoch, the minister for women and equalities, has blamed the family of “inflaming tensions” about police behaviour.
In an interview with the Radio 4 programme, Badenoch wrongly claimed the officers had been unarmed during the incident, that the family were using untrue “rhetoric” and that people shouldn’t be using “this sort of language” about the police.
Badenoch, who is the government’s equalities minister and leading a review into race equality in the UK said “I don’t think we should be using this sort of language where people feel unarmed police officers try to kill people on the streets. We’re hearing a lot of this rhetoric that is simply not true.
“I think it must be quite a frustrating and sensitive situation to find yourself in. I have been in situations where I have been questioned by the police and at no point did I feel they were going to kill me”
Told by the presenter that the police were indeed armed, she said: “Oh right, I wasn’t aware of that.”
With this kind of attitude from a Black Equalities Minister, what chance have black people in Britain actually got?
Doesn’t instill a lot of confidence, does it?