Saturday, March 07, 2015

British Keystone Kops arrest schoolgirl, 15, and hold her in a cell for nine hours - but she claims police mistook an afro-comb for a GUN

A schoolgirl who was arrested by armed officers and held in a cell overnight says she was targeted because police mistook an afro-comb she was carrying for a gun.

Rochae Davis says she was walking with friends in Croydon, south London, with the comb tucked into the waistband of her trousers.

Police already on their way to the scene were alerted to CCTV footage which they say purported to show the 15-year-old carrying a gun and later arrested her at home.

She was bailed without charge and must return to a police station in April as the investigation continues.

But, with police yet to recover a weapon, the schoolgirl claims she was only arrested because police jumped to conclusions. 'As I was walking back with a friend, six police officers from Trident, the gun crime unit arrived, and had guns. They pushed us against a wall and searched us,' she said.

'It was only after they had finished that they said they had seen me on CCTV with a firearm. But it was an afro comb - it didn't look anything like a gun.

'I was scared and confused. I said I didn't have a gun, but it was so unfair, they wouldn't hear me out. 'I didn't know what was happening. They took my clothes and my stuff - it was really uncomfortable.'

Rochae's mother, Simone, said police's treatment of her daughter had been 'a disgrace' and that the schoolgirl had 'never been in trouble' with the law before.

'If they thought they saw her with a gun on CCTV then why didn't they stop and search her there and then,' the 33-year-old said.

She added police may have thought Rochae was a young boy because she had her hood up at the time.

The six-inch afro comb, which has a black handle and metal prongs, belonged to the teenager's friend, she said.

Police did not find it when searching the family's home on the night of her arrest with Rochae claiming she had already given it back to a friend.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman said: 'As officers were responding, police were contacted by the local authority CCTV control room, which was also monitoring the incident, with information that a female had been seen with what was believed to be a firearm in the area.

'Police arrived and a number of people were dispersed. A short while later, officers stopped a 15-year-old girl in Poplar Walk and she was subsequently arrested on suspicion of possession of a firearm. 'No firearm has been recovered at this stage. Detectives from Croydon CID are investigating and inquiries continue.


Original report here

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