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‘I Felt So Belittled That I Was Stopped, Searched, and Handcuffed in My Garden’: Black Man to Receive Five-Figure Settlement for Wrongful Arrest at His Home

Law enforcement in the city of London is set to award a Black man a five-figure settlement after he was wrongfully handcuffed and detained by British police officers. The citizen was apprehended by law enforcement on his property while he was opening the gate to his garden.

On Thursday, Sep. 2, the Metropolitan Police announced it would pay out £10,000 in damages to Navern De La Kruz after the cop unlawfully detained him on June 27, 2020.

US Today reports the 31-year-old was opening the door of his communal yard to his fenced stables for his friend when officers performed an aggressive stop and search on him. They alleged he fit the description of a suspect they were looking for in connection to a knife crime.

While compensation for the mistake has been agreed upon, De La Kruz says after two years Scotland Yard still has not released a formal apology for the incident.

He stated, according to the Morning Star, “I felt so belittled to be stopped, searched and handcuffed in my garden for something I had nothing to do with.”

De La Kruz recalled, “It has been more than two years since the incident and I still haven’t received an apology from the police, but unfortunately that’s exactly what I expected.”

The Met claimed the officers believed they were granted the right to stop De La Kruz under England’s Police and Criminal Evidence Act of 1984.

However, the man’s attorneys contested their argument, highlighting the law prohibits the exercise of searches like that in a private home. De La Kruz believes he had to confront the police through the courts to guarantee accountability.

De La Kruz said in a statement: “I sought to hold the police to account because I want others, and particularly the younger generation of Black queens and kings, to know that the misuse of stop and search and handcuffs is not okay and that it can be challenged.”

“I sincerely hope lessons that lessons will be learnt from my case to ensure that officers act within their powers,” he said. “And understand the impact incidents like this can have on confidence in policing.”

One of the attorneys on the case, Sohini Mehta, said De La Kruz’s treatment “is yet another example of the brutal use of stop and search and the handcuffing of Black people without proper justification.”

Adding, “The Met must demonstrate its commitment to eradicating discrimination and disproportionality in its practices and implementing the IOPC and HMICFRS recommendations.”

The Met has not released a comment on the award.

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