Suffolk

IOPC to probe Suffolk Police after black couple quizzed

Falil Onikoyi and Ingrid Antoine-Onikoyi
Image caption Police spoke to Ingrid Antoine-Onikoyi and her husband Falil in June

A complaint against police officers who accused a black woman of "jumping on the bandwagon" is to be probed by a watchdog.

Two officers asked Ingrid Antoine-Onikoyi and her husband Falil for their details after they parked cars in Ipswich, saying "because we can".

The couple's daughter Maja Antoine welcomed the investigation.

Suffolk Police said it had referred the complaint to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The couple, who are from Watford, were confronted by police outside a relative's house in Ipswich. The incident was filmed on Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi's phone and the footage has been viewed on Twitter more than two million times after it was shared by their daughter.

Ms Antoine said in her tweet: "It's suspicious to walk from your car to your house, while black. The UK is not innocent."

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Media captionSuffolk Police officers ask for the black couple's details "because we can"

Speaking to the BBC after receiving news of the IOPC investigation, Ms Antoine said: "I am pleased, as long as it is properly investigated. What we need is a proper apology."

After the incident Suffolk Police said it was due to give a formal apology to the couple.

When the BBC submitted a Freedom of Information request to discover what action had been taken the police said: "The Joint Norfolk and Suffolk Professional Standards Department have recorded a complaint and referred the matter to the IOPC who are conducting an investigation."

Image caption Maja Antoine said she was pleased the IOPC was investigating the incident

A Suffolk Police spokesman said the case was "voluntarily referred to the IOPC" which would "conduct an independent investigation into the complaint and therefore it would not be appropriate for the force to comment further at this time".

The IOPC confirmed it had started an investigation.

The couple had just parked their cars on a residential street when a police car "blocked them in".

Mrs Antoine-Onikoyi said: "They started questioning my husband, asking who he was, were our cars ours, and asking to see his driving licence."

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