Black teen 'strangled' as cops restrain him in knife stop-and-search
Black teen, 13, is ‘strangled’ and left bleeding after cops restrain him during knife stop-and-search as his mother accuses Met police of using excessive force against her special needs son
- Benjamin Olajive, 13, was handcuffed by police last Tuesday at 4.15pm in London
- He had got off the school bus on Streatham High Road when officers cuffed him
- Shocking footage shows Benjamin shouting for help as bystanders watch on
- Mother Zeyna Kada accused Met Police of ‘racial profiling’ and excessive force
A black schoolboy was ‘strangled’ after police officers restrained him during a knife stop-and-search, while his mother has accused the officers of using excessive force against her son.
Benjamin Olajive, 13, got off the school bus last Tuesday at around 4.15pm on London’s Streatham High Road when he was approached by Metropolitan Police officers.
The officers were responding to a report of a person with a knife, who was said to have been wearing a blazer and was a similar height to Benjamin, and he was identified as the suspect on CCTV.
Shocking video footage, posted online by Benjamin’s mother Zeyna Kada and bystanders, shows Benjamin being handcuffed by a number of police officers.
In the clip, Benjamin, who has ADHD, screams for help as huge crowds of bystanders shout at the officers and call for the 13-year-old to be released.
According to witnesses, the ordeal continued for around 45 minutes, during which Benjamin screamed ‘my wrists’ as officers handcuffed him and allegedly ‘choked’ him.
What was believed to be a knife was an Afro comb and Benjamin was taken to Brixton police station on suspicion of causing criminal damage after allegedly kicking a police car.
Ms Kada, who said her son has never had any encounters with the police before, has accused the Metropolitan Police of ‘racial profiling’ and of using excessive force on her son, saying they should ‘respect’ people’s children.
Benjamin Olajive (left and right), 13, got off the school bus last Tuesday at around 4.15pm on London’s Streatham High Road when he was approached by Metropolitan Police officers
According to the Metropolitan Police, Benjamin ‘physically resisted and tried to get away’ from officers and ’caused dents’ in a police car after kicking it a number of times.
But Ms Kada alleged that her son only kicked the vehicle after he was provoked by officers, who had repeatedly performed ‘hyperflexing wrist locks’ on Benjamin, and claimed video footage showed her son initially ‘complying’ with officers.
Ms Kada, who was not present at the time, alleged an officer grabbed her son by the neck after he grew distressed when the officers ‘hurt’ his wrists, claiming he was left with ‘bruises’ during the 45-minute ordeal.
Speaking to MailOnline, she said: ‘I am not saying don’t stop and search people.
‘I am a mum raising a young black boy, I see the news with all these shootings and I think ‘God help these children and help them to love one another’.
‘I am not saying don’t stop and search but use reasonable force and respect, and take your hands off someone else’s child.’
After watching the footage, sent to her by concerned members of the public, Ms Kada said she told her son that she was ‘proud’ of him for complying with officers, as it could have ‘escalated’ further if he hadn’t.
Ms Kada said she plans to educate Benjamin about his rights after the incident, saying officers should have asked him if he felt under ‘threat or pressure’, as he is only 13 years old.
Benjamin was allegedly left with marks on his arms from where he had been handcuffed, his uniform sleeve was ‘covered in blood’ and he was allegedly left with a swollen eye (pictured)
She added: ‘I don’t understand the reaction an officer wanted from a 13-year-old. This kind of thing is not taught in schools. Children have seen on TV and films but they don’t know […]
‘These young children should be taught about the law. Most boys and girls are tall for their age now, but not every child with an afro is a criminal or has a weapon.’
She alleged that the crowds only gathered after the officers’ treatment of Benjamin, adding: ‘In the videos, my son complied. He was patted top to bottom three times. Then, there were only two members of the public at the bus stop.
‘What drew the attention was that they found nothing, what draw the attention was how they treated my son then. Why were the officers still manhandling him when they found nothing?’
Benjamin was allegedly left with marks on his arms from where he had been handcuffed, his uniform sleeve was ‘covered in blood’ and he was allegedly left with a swollen eye.
Ms Kada claimed the police officers did not take her son’s special needs into account, despite Benjamin and members of the public informing them repeatedly.
The concerned mother said footage showed that there were only two people around when her son was initially approached, but a crowd gathered when her son was restrained by officers.
She claimed: ‘It was then that people started shouting and getting upset with the officer. Then my son was pinned by two officers with his hands behind his back, restraining him and causing my son distress.
‘He is heard screaming on the videos. A passerby said my son was screaming ‘my wrist’.’
After the incident, Ms Kada was phoned by a member of the public using Benjamin’s phone informing her that her son had been arrested and advised her to go to Brixton Police station.
Ms Kada has accused the Metropolitan Police of ‘racial profiling’ and of using excessive force on her son. Pictured: Marks allegedly left on Benjamin by handcuffs
Ms Kada claimed her son told her that the officer ‘choked’ him, and said she found bruises. She said he had a pre-existing scab on his wrist that had been ripped open again amid the ordeal
Ms Kada claimed her son was ‘scared and worried’ when she picked him up from Brixton police station, saying he had ‘marks’ all over his arms and ‘blood’ on his sleeve.
She claimed she asked officers why he was injured, but was told that her son was ‘kicking off’ and had dented a police car. She said she asked to see the vehicle but was told ‘we are not taking any further, forget about it’.
Ms Kada claimed her son told her that the police officer ‘choked’ him, and said she found bruises on his neck. She said he had a pre-existing scab on his wrist that had been ripped open again amid the ordeal.
She said she took Benjamin to the GP for his injuries after the incident and her son has since been referred for counselling due to the ‘traumatic experience’.
Ms Kada said she went to the police station to get a crime reference number and a stop-and-search form, but claimed she was only given the forms when she began recording them days later.
‘Officers are not trained to deal with young children. He has special needs and he was injured, hence my child kicked off, I was told by members of public, that there was no damage done to the car,’ she said.
Ms Kada said she is ‘upset’ that the Metropolitan Police are claiming that her son tried to ‘run’ away from them, saying it was a clear example of racial profiling.
She said: ‘I am upset that the police said my son tried to run and said they tried to restrain him, but that is not true!
‘We have the initial footage, how can they say that? Why was he stopped, searched and cuffed for 45 minutes?’
The ‘frustrated’ mother claimed that the police officers did not put her son’s ADHD into consideration when they handcuffed him, saying they had already realised nothing was on him when he ‘kicked’ the car.
Ms Kada said her family has never had any involvement with the police before and said she is disappointed that his first experience has been negative.
She added: ‘He has never been involved with the police before and his first experience was negative. We have only seen it on TV and in films […]
‘He has never said anything nasty about the police before. He has never experienced any of this, and this has had a big negative impact on my child.’
Ms Kada claimed her son was ‘scared and worried’ when she picked him up from Brixton police station, saying he had ‘marks’ all over his arms and ‘blood’ on his sleeve
A Metropolitan Police spokesperson said: ‘Shortly after 16:00hrs on Tuesday, 14 September, police were called by a concerned member of the public who reported seeing a schoolboy in possession of a kitchen knife on Streatham High Road.
‘The boy was identified by CCTV cameras and officers responded. When approached, the boy physically resisted and tried to get away from the officers. He was restrained and handcuffed in order to allow a search to be carried out.
‘A knife was not found. The item that had initially been seen by a member of the public was identified as an afro comb.
‘As he was being restrained, he kicked a police car a number of times, causing dents. He was arrested on suspicion of causing criminal damage.
‘As officers began to conduct the search, a large crowd surrounded them. A further call was received from a member of the public at the scene who feared for the safety of the officers.
‘Additional officers were deployed in an effort to disperse the crowd and the boy was taken to a nearby police station where his mother was called.
‘It was decided that no further action would be taken in relation to the damage to the police vehicle and the boy was released into his mother’s care.
‘A complaint has subsequently been received in relation to the incident. It is being assessed by the South Area Professional Standards Unit.’
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