Former Canterbury student 'targeted by police' at own home

Tarini Tiwari 2 March 2021

Image by: Oliver Trapnell

A former University student was nearly arrested after Kent Police officers refused to believe he lived in his Canterbury house.

The ex-student recorded the event and the Afro-Diasporic Legal Network (ADLN) posted it to their Instagram.

In his explanation provided by ADLN, he said he accidentally broke the window in his front door and, after reporting it, went to the shops. He came back to “several police officers” outside his house.

He continued to explain how he used his key to get into the house and told the officers he didn’t need any more help before shutting the door.

The graduate said: “[T]hey started banging down my door trying to get me to prove who I am even though I used a key to get into my house.”

Wura Nuhinlola, a co-founder of the ADLN, said: “In general, people of colour — black people — tend to be over-policed or targeted by the police. I mean, last summer made 2020 a traumatic year for black people in general.

“It’s something that’s not new in our society, and we’ve seen it, especially with this incident, in Canterbury.

“There were six police officers for one guy and the witness did say that when she asked one of the police officers why they need six guys there they said ‘If we feel we need six we need six.’

She added: “Those kinds of responses are so aggressive and intimidating for no good reason.”

Kent is among the top five counties in the UK for hate crimes, with a freedom of information act request by the NSPCC revealing that hate crimes have risen by 193% since 2015.

When asked about whether ADLN had contacted the University or the Union, Wura said: “Definitely, the ADLN have had several conversations with the University and Kent Union.

“Several months ago we released a solidarity statement and demands for the University of what we want to be implemented, what we require from them and the standard that we would expect from them.

“The University is aware of this and we’ve had conversations with them, not necessarily too much progress however. I think the University knows we don’t want conversations, we want actual implementation, we want to see results."

She added: “We don’t want these endless roundabout discussions of what could happen or what should happen in the future.

“We want to see accountability and we want to see change happen on campus because it’s important, especially when anxiety is so high in general, we need to make sure that students feel safe when walking around on campus.”

The University has been approached for a comment.

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First published in 1965, InQuire is the University of Kent student newspaper.

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