Moment black teenager, 14, was forced to the ground and handcuffed by Met Police officers after he was wrongly targeted while walking home from school
A black schoolboy was scared for his life after he was forced onto the ground by police in a mistaken stop and search.
Officers said he matched the description of a robbery suspect – a young black man in a blue hoodie.
De-Shaun was wearing his school uniform with a grey top over it when he was stopped outside Blackhorse Road Station.
He said officers forced him up against a wall, handcuffed him and took his phone without explanation before pinning him to the ground.
Police held De-Shaun – who is asthmatic – face-down with his hands behind his back while officers kneeled on top of him.
He told ITV News: ‘I thought I was going to die.’
De-Shaun managed to shout his mother’s mobile number to a bystander, who was able to contact her and tell her what was happening.
Janet Joseph raced over to where police were holding De-Shaun and was in tears about the incident.
Janet feared her son would be the next George Floyd, and said what De-Shaun went through was ‘every parent’s worst nightmare.’
She said: ‘It’s the same old story – every black boy fits the description.
De-Shaun Joseph, 14, was forced to the ground by police without – he said they gave him no explanation
‘There’s no excuse for what they did to my son and the excessive force they used on a 14-year-old black boy.’
The Met later released De-Shaun without arrest and admitted they had detained the wrong person.
A spokesperson for Met Police said: ‘Police were called at 5.17pm on Thursday, 23 June, after a primary schoolboy had been robbed of his mobile phone by a group of teenagers who intimated they had a knife in Woodside Green, Croydon.
‘Officers responded and conducted an area search.
‘A teenage boy was stopped in Blackhorse Road at 5.27pm after officers saw his clothing matched the description given of one male within the suspect group.
‘He was detained for the purposes of a search, at which point he verbally abused officers and became obstructive. Once he was eliminated as a possible suspect, he was given a written record of the stop and search and allowed on his way.’
Police held De-Shaun – who is asthmatic – face-down with his hands behind his back while officers kneeled on top of him. He told ITV News (pictured): ‘I thought I was going to die.’
De-Shaun was wearing his black and yellow school uniform with a grey top at the time
Chief Inspector Richard Berns of the violent crime taskforce said ‘no misconduct is apparent’, but added there would be an investigation following a complaint.
He said: ‘Our officers patrol each day to prevent violence and seek out those who would do others harm.
‘Officers were responding to reports of a robbery involving a young victim and had to conduct their ‘on the street’ investigation under very challenging circumstances after some onlookers began directing verbal abuse at them.
‘All officers understand that their actions are subject to scrutiny. An initial review of the incident, including body-worn video, has been conducted by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards and no misconduct is apparent.
‘However, a public complaint has been made and will be investigated thoroughly by the professional standards unit.’