A Black dad claims the police were called on him and his two-year-old son in a shopping centre because the child was “having a tantrum”. The dad’s wife branded the alleged response to incident as an example of what Black men have to endure in Britain and said she was “fuming” but “not surprised at all”.
She shared a tweet claiming that her husband “had the police called on him” and their son at Lewisham Shopping Centre on March 12 because the boy was “having a tantrum”. The mum said her son wanted a fire truck toy despite already having many of them. The boy’s dad refused to buy another, but in the end he “had to get it”.
The mum said all the toy sellers in the shopping centre know her son because he is obsessed with cars and emergency services. But she claims a “white old lady” called the Metropolitan Police and claims that the police questioned her two-year-old son. However, the Met Police say they have no record of any such call being made.
READ MORE: Black schoolgirl, 15, from Hackney ‘traumatised’ after strip search by police while on her period
In a post on Twitter that went viral, she said: “That’s what is like being a Black father with a Black son in 2022 Britain. You know – I am fuming.”
She added: “Let’s not forget that Lewisham has the biggest police station in Europe in a community that is predominantly African and African Caribbean.” Lewisham Police station is the largest purpose-built in Europe and also contains the largest custody suite in the Metropolitan Police with the highest turnover of prisoners, according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary.
Responding to comments asking how her husband and her son were doing, the woman said they were “fine” now.
The post received 15,100 likes on Twitter and dozens of people took to the comments to express their rage at the incident.
At MyLondon, we want to make sure you get the latest and greatest from across the capital.
And one way you can do that is by getting the best news, reviews and features from wherever you are straight to your inbox with our free email newsletters.
We have seven newsletters you can currently sign up for – including a different one for each part of London, as well as an EastEnders one for all the gossip from Albert Square, and a London Underground one to keep you up to date on the latest transport news.
The local newsletters go out twice a day and send the latest stories straight to your inbox.
From community stories and news covering every borough of London to celebrity and lifestyle stories, we’ll make sure you get the very best every day.
To sign up to any of our newsletters, simply follow this link and select the newsletter that’s right for you.
And to really customise your news experience on the go, you can download our top-rated free apps for iPhone and Android. Find out more here.
One white woman replied: “That’s WRONG and just highlights the white privilege I’ve had. As a white woman, I’ve never suffered police involvement despite all three of my children when two to three years old having at least one screaming, kicking toddler meltdown. Children do that at some point, it’s normal. Sorry.”
Another person said: “The first reaction for any concerned person would be to simply ask if you’re OK. How does someone call the police because a kid is having a tantrum? I’m sorry this happened, I’m also disappointed in the police response to this, a little bit of human understanding goes a long way.”
A third commented: “I’ve witnessed countless children having tantrums – My reaction is sympathy for the parent not call the police – there is a definite judgement here”
MyLondon has approached the Met Police and Lewisham Shopping Centre for comment but they could not find any report of the incident.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said: “We are aware of a post on social media describing an interaction between officers and a father and son in Lewisham. The suggestion is that officers were called to reports of a child having a tantrum in a shopping centre.
“Such a call would not typically generate a police response. Having searched our logs and spoken to the local officers who were on duty in the area on the relevant date, we have been unable to find any record of the incident.”
Do you have a story you think we should be covering? If so, email [email protected]
Want stories like this delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up to our FREE newsletters here .