Two viral videos encapsulate the state of the UK at the moment with police abusing powers given to them to enforce lockdown laws. In one case a man was arrested on his way to work for not identifying himself, while another who went to a shop was hauled away for not wearing a mask properly.
West Midlands police were forced to apologise after a man in Solihull was followed, called an idiot, and finally arrested by overly officious police.
The police can be seen harassing the man, asking him where he is going, where he lives and demanding his name.
The guy was just trying to go to work.
When the man refused to give his name, saying “don’t worry about it”, and asked the officer to turn on his body cam, the harassment was ratcheted up.
“What do you mean don’t worry about it?” the officer replied, adding “We’re here to enforce legislation, mate, so I need to know who you are.”
“You don’t need to know who I am – I haven’t committed an offence,” the man replied.
The officer then threatened “under coronavirus legislation you have to provide me with some details, otherwise you’re going to be arrested.”
When the man asked what he was going to be arrested for, the officer said he was “arguing” and that was providing “reasonable suspicion”.
“You’re obviously just harassing me, because I’ve got a hoodie on, I’ve got a coat on, I’m on my way to work, I’m a normal citizen,” the guy replied, adding “Why would I allow someone to just pull me over?”
The officer then replied “We’re the police, we’re not just someone, you idiot.”
“What, so just because you’re the police, that gives you the right to stop anyone you want and get their details?” the man replied, urging “You need to be reinformed about the law.”
The officer then hauled the man away.
The police force later issued a statement noting that “It’s clear that the officer’s conduct fell far below what we would expect.”
“The man explained he was heading to work – that’s clearly a justifiable reason to be out and about and there was no suspicion he had committed any offences,” the statement continued,