Officers quizzing of black couple on viral video to be investigated
PUBLISHED: 11:36 16 July 2020 | UPDATED: 12:57 16 July 2020
Police watchdogs are to investigate the controversial questioning of a black couple in Ipswich by officers which saw a video of the incident go viral.
Suffolk Constabulary has referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) following the incident on June 9 involving Ingrid Antoine-Oniyoke and Falil Oniyoke.
The IOPC oversees the police complaints system in England and Wales. It investigates the most serious matters, including deaths following police contact, and sets the standards by which the police should handle complaints.
The couple, who come from Watford and were visiting relatives, say they were stopped by two officers moments after “glancing” at a parked police car on June 9.
In a video of the incident recorded by their daughter and which has now had more than two million views on Twitter, the couple become increasingly upset as the officers offer several different reasons for why they need to see identification, saying they needed to confirm the ownership of the car because they were “driving a motor vehicle in the road”.
In the recording, a female police officer is heard saying the couple are “just jumping on the bandwagon of the current climate” - a reference to the Black Lives Matter movement.
A spokesman for Suffolk police said: “Suffolk Constabulary can confirm that following a complaint received about an incident in Ipswich on June 9 2020 the matter was voluntarily referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).
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“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.”
Mr Oniyoke said at the time the “bandwagon” comment only “fuelled the flames” of the exchange and had left him and his wife “upset”.
He added: “We’re happy to work with the police but the approach the officers took was unacceptable.
“If they had had a satisfactory reason for asking for ID there wouldn’t have been a problem.
“But the relationship was not there.
“It was really upsetting and unprofessional, especially at a time like this.”
Mrs Antoine-Oniyoke said: “We still don’t know why we were stopped.
“We have to hear the police’s explanation. We want this to go as smoothly as possible.”
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