16 Jul Suffolk Police officers who stopped black couple for ‘driving on a road’ to be investigated | UK News
Officers who stopped a black couple for “driving a motor vehicle on a road” will be investigated, the police watchdog has said.
Ingrid Antoine-Onikoyi, 47, and her husband Falil Onikoyi, 50, were stopped as they drove a BMW near her mother’s house in Ipswich on 9 June.
A mobile phone video shot by Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi shows a Suffolk Police officer demanding to see her husband’s driving licence because they “looked suspicious”.
In the video, a male officer says: “At the end of the day, whether it looks funny or not, you were driving a motor vehicle on a road, so therefore I am requiring you to require proof of driving (licence).”
Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi tells him: “You are kidding us right now. You can see why people get upset.”
The officer replies: “All that I need is proof that you are the driver of that vehicle and you live here, and we are gone.”
When questioned, in an apparent reference to the Black Lives Matter movement, the officer then accused them of “jumping on the bandwagon of the current climate”.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) is now investigating the incident, which left the couple feeling “hurt” and “confused”.
Mr Onikoyi told Sky News at the time: “There was no excuse. There was no reasonable reason given other than we drove past and looked at them.”
Mr Onikoyi continued: “I think I felt harassed as to the rationale behind it.
“Exposed, because it was open near where we live and everyone could see what was going on.
“And made to feel like a criminal, basically.”
He added that he believes the couple, from Watford, were stopped because he was a “black person driving a car of a certain marque”.
Suffolk Police apologised after the footage was shared widely online, saying the force “would like to apologise for the offence caused” and was “very aware of the issue of racism in our society”.
A force spokesman told Sky News it has voluntarily referred itself to the IOPC.
“The IOPC have decided they will conduct an independent investigation into the complaint and therefore it would not be appropriate for the force to comment further at this time,” they said.