Reports have surfaced that a Metropolitan Police officer choked 13-year-old Black schoolboy Benjamin Olajive during a stop-and-search in South London last Tuesday.
The incident unfolded after police responded to reports of a Black person carrying a knife. As a result, police identified Benjamin via CCTV footage. Video footage shows Benjamin—who has ADHD and PTSD—in handcuffs, whilst the police interrogate and search his backpack for the alleged weapon.
In the footage, Benjamin can be heard crying that his hands are in pain, his wrists tightly pulled behind his back and his head forcibly subdued. Benjamin then calls out for help, which attracts bystanders who rally for his immediate release.
Following the ordeal, Benjamin was left with a badly swollen left eye and bloodied school shirt. Many drew parallels to Benjamin’s situation with the 70-year-old Jamaican man who was left hospitalised and severely injured following a police arrest last week.
Benjamin’s mother, Zeyna Kada, spoke out against the police brutality her son endured, saying: “Benjamin was waiting for the 109 bus, and we were speaking on the phone, and he told me that he was going to McDonald’s. Then five officers rushed to him, and he was really confused as it was his first experience with police, so he was not expecting any of it and did not know what was happening.”
She added: “They put him in handcuffs and pushed his head down. Then they told him they received a call about someone matching his description carrying a nine-inch knife. Members of the public started gathering around. He took out a comb and said that this is what he has. No one is against stopping and searching people, but this is a child, and they checked him three times for 45 minutes and nothing, so why did they not let him go? My child is now traumatised.”