A South London schoolboy, 14, was forced to the ground and handcuffed by Met Police officers on his journey home from school only for the Met to realise they had confused the teenager with someone else. De-Shaun Joseph, was stopped and handcuffed by officers on Thursday June 23 after he was believed to have matched the description of a Black youth in a blue hoodie wanted in connection with a nearby robbery, even though he was wearing a grey jumper over his school uniform.
De-Shaun was thrown to the ground by officers outside Blackhorse Road tram station in Croydon, South London, and he said he had his phone snatched by officers during the incident before being pinned up against a wall. The 14-year-old’s mother, Janet Joseph, who arrived at the seen as her son was handcuffed on the floor told ITV News she was “worried my son would be the next George Floyd”.
George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis, US, during an arrest after a shop-worker believed Mr Floyd had used a counterfeit $20 note. The officer making the arrest knelt on Floyd’s neck and back which left him unable to breathe and his death sparked an international cry for justice and an end to police brutality against black people.
READ MORE:Man who died after being Tasered by police on Chelsea Bridge was carrying a firelighter, not a screwdriver
Concerned passers-by stopped at the incident to question the officers’ treatment of the teenager. In a video of the handcuffing of De-Shaun, one man can be heard saying ‘he’s a young boy, you’re being a bit aggressive.’
De-Shaun told ITV News: “I was upset and scared. I thought I was going to die.
“I was curious because I haven’t done anything wrong and they just stopped me for no reason.”
As officers restrained the teenager, who suffers with asthma, he recited his mother’s phone number to a woman who was watching the incident she arrived at the Croydon tram station not long after.
Janet told ITV News: “It’s every parent’s worst nightmare.
(Image: ITV News)
“It’s the same old story – every Black boy fits the description,” Ms Joseph said. “There’s no excuse for what they did to my son and the excessive force they used on a 14-year-old Black boy.”
Met Police later released him without arrest and admitted they had the wrong person.
Doctors said that De-Shaun suffered bruising to his back and the teenage schoolboy has been left traumatised by the incident which happened on his way home from school.
Following an initial review of body-worn camera footage conducted by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, they found that “no misconduct is apparent”.
A statement from the force added: “However, a public complaint has been made and will be investigated thoroughly by the professional standards unit.”
Matt is a trainee reporter specialising in LGBT+ issues, including speaking to LGBTQ+ activist Peter Tatchell ahead of the 50th anniversary of Gay Pride in the UK, an interview with an ex-Lieutenant Commander who was forced to keep his sexuality a secret in the Armed Forces for 20 years who lost his partner to AIDS two days before he left the Navy, and speaking to the founder of The Gay Men’s Dance Company, which offers pole dancing classes, among others.
Got a story? You can reach Matt at [email protected] or DM him on Twitter via @mattlspivey.
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