A young boy cycling to church to take part in the Sunday service volunteering was followed by police officers and handcuffed after he entered the premises.
We've read about multiple instances where black people are unnecessarily targetted for doing normal, everyday HUMAN tasks. In some cases, persons of color have been unfairly targetted by police for participating in seemingly normal activity. One teenager was put in handcuffs by officers for simply biking to the church he was volunteering at.
Police handcuff black boy going to church because he ‘looked suspicious’ https://t.co/R2vA5o5wAc— The Independent (@Independent) July 26, 2019
According to reports, the West Mercia Police Force has been put under the spotlight for their unfair treatment towards a 14-year-old church volunteer. Vanylson Silva had just cycled to St. Paul's Church in Worcester where he volunteers every week before Sunday service.
As he entered the church's premises, two officers who had followed Silva grabbed his arm and handcuffed him. Vanessa Santos, the teenager's mother, explained to The Independent that he was released from police custody when church-goers explained to the officers that he was a volunteer at the church.
The officers uncuffed Silva but offered no explanation or apology for his unnecessary arrest. The boy's mother believes that her son was targetted specifically for his skin color.
I expect this from America but not here 😢 I hope there is some clarity on why the Police were following him. If it’s a case of mistaken identity, that’s fair enough but they should’ve apologised 😔— Luke (@lukedaluke85) July 26, 2019
"I just think it is harsh the way they dealt with it. There was no reason for him to be cuffed at 14 years old. What would you expect a young boy to be doing inside a church on a Sunday morning?" Santos questioned. "I prepare my son and tell him that with our skin color, unfortunately, we are labeled. I tell him that people will react in different ways and some people will be nice to him, but others will not be so nice."
As if I'm reading this! The world's going mad. Seems like people can't do anything these days & lets be real this was more than likely 'cause he's black🙄2019 ffs 🤦♀️— Jessica Connolly (@fsjessx) July 26, 2019
As per West Mercia Police, Silva was stopped due to the fact that there had been complaints about illegal drug activities in the area. As per a statement released by Inspector David Troth: "Police were patrolling on St Paul’s Street in Worcester on Sunday morning when they saw a member of the public acting suspiciously."
The bottom line is he would NOT have been treated like this if he had been white....I can't believe the police's defence of this— Brian Haran (@brian_haran) July 26, 2019
"Officers approached the individual to begin a stop and search due to both their behavior and concerns about drug dealing in the local area," continues the statement. "Shortly afterward, officers were made aware the individual had [a] legitimate reason for being in the area and determined that no offenses had taken place and grounds to continue with any subsequent search no longer existed. As such, the search was not conducted."
He looked suspicious! Why? Handcuffed for being black!— Avice Turnbull (@AviceYorks) July 26, 2019