The following post and accompanying video were shared with the CopBlock Network by Marcus Potter, who has submitted numerous other videos to the CopBlock Network, as well. It was shared via the CopBlock Submissions Page.
Most of the incident described by Marcus is not shown on the video because it took place while he was in custody and having been told that he was under arrest. He describes how the London police used the pretense of him being a terrorist in order to justify an illegal detainment, search, and attempt by PC Gearing to actually arrest him because she did not like that he was filming police in public. Based on Marcus’ other videos, this seems to be a pretty common tactic employed by the police in London.
Date of Incident: May 15, 2016
Officers Involved: Police Constable Gearing 2688, Police Sgt Barnes, Inspector Hewitt
Department Involved: British Transport Police
Department Phone No.: +44800405040
Department Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I was filming Kings Cross Railway Station in London, at which point a female police officer, PC Gearing 2688, approached me and asked if she could see what was on my phone under the Terrorism Act. I refused and she demanded to see what was on my phone. She also required my name and address under section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002. I handed over the phone and she then handed it back as she couldn’t see what was on there. I showed her what was on there and Gearing then said that I could either give my name and address or that she would arrest me under the Terrorism Act.
At this point I stood my ground and refused to give my details. As a result, I was arrested under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000 and informed that the arrest was necessary to enable a prompt and effective investigation and ascertain my name and address. Gearing unlawfully handcuffed me in the front palm to palm position. She then requested a prisoner transport van to take me to custody. She later removed the handcuffs and instead took hold of me.
A prisoner transport van arrived along with her supervisor, Police Sgt. Barnes and the inspector in charge of the football reserves, Inspector Hewitt. I was asked to remove my bag slowly and did so. I was then searched by Sgt. Barnes and placed in the rear of the van by an unknown male police officer (who I will refer to as PC X). Whilst doing so, PC X grabbed my left arm so tightly that it (sic) was present for a week afterwards and I shouted, “this is assault” to which he replied, “You are under arrest. You do not have to say anything so I’d suggest you don’t. Get in the back.”
I complied with the unlawful order and got in the rear of the police van. Shortly afterwards, I was asked to remove my shoes so that an officer could unlawfully search them. I complied with this unlawful order and was then given my shoes back. I was told that I could put them back on and did so, at which point the cage door was shut but the rear van doors remained open. I heard Insp. Hewitt have a conversation with Gearing in which he informed her that before arresting anyone for terrorism she should check with Special Branch that the arrest is necessary because protocols mandate that any prisoner arrested on suspicion of Terrorism is taken to an empty custody suite, is under the constant watch of the Custody Sgt., and is kept in a tent and that keeping a prisoner in these conditions should be avoided if possible. Gearing replied that she was unable to do so because she had asked me for my details, but been refused to provide them. She made it clear to Hewitt that she had made it clear to me that if I failed to provide my details I would both be committing an offense under section 50 of the Police Reform Act 2002 and providing her with a necessity to arrest under section 41 of the Terrorism Act 2000.
In the meantime, Barnes was rifling through my rucksack and found a credit card that I was carrying along with a notebook containing the collar numbers of Police Community Support Officers and train tickets. Barnes pointed these out to Gearing and provided her with my name. She then rang Special Branch to run her checks and provided them with my name and approximate age. She was then told that my arrest was not necessary. After a further search of my phone by Barnes, Gearing de-arrested me and I was handed back my rucksack and mobile phone.
– Marcus Potter