Two Black Brothers Settle Suit With London Police After Searched and Handcuffed Outside Home

Two Black brothers have reportedly settled a complaint with the Metropolitan Police Department in London following an incident where they were stopped, searched, and handcuffed outside their family home.

According to The Guardian, the incident occurred on April 13, 2020, involving 24-year-old Nicholas Peart and 20-year-old Leon Peart when strict lockdowns were in place during the COVID-19 pandemic.

They report the incident took place on Leon’s 18th birthday. The outlet also reports that documents show police were initially investigating why Nicholas was out of the house. However, no fine was reported as issued.

Another officer reportedly claimed to have seen items linked to drugs, which led to Nicholas being handcuffed and searched, according to the outlet. The outlet states that Leon came out of the house to see his brother in handcuffs. He then reportedly ran inside the house to get his mother.

According to documents, The Guardian reports that police believed this was a possible drug deal in progress with the two brothers at the center of it. But the outlet says the two brothers stated they are Christians who regularly attend church and have never smoked tobacco, let alone taken drugs.

Authorities, however, reportedly denied that claim.

After reportedly expressing themselves while experiencing the humiliation and trauma of being handcuffed, the two brothers were arrested outside 20 minutes later in Chingford, East London.

The Guardian reports that one officer explained Leon was handcuffed because he was “bigger than me and clearly much stronger,” adding, “I was aware that gang nominal and drug dealers regularly carry weapons and have been assaulted doing similar style stops on numerous occasions.”

Nicholas Peart told the outlet, “It was embarrassing to put me in handcuffs in front of my neighbors. Beforehand I had a good view of the police. I always said hi to the local officer. This has diminished my view of the police.”

Paul Hefford, one officer involved in the stops, was reportedly a key player in a hate message group and was dismissed from the Metropolitan Police Department in July 2022, two years after the stop, reports The Guardian.

Solicitor Carolynn Gallwey, who represented the brothers, stated, “The bigger problem here is that their experience is at least in part the result of a toxic culture within the Met which sees Black Londoners disproportionately stopped and searched by police on the street every day. This is what the commissioner should be tackling.”

The Guardian reports that Waltham Forest council members have requested an urgent meeting with the police department about stop and search.