A student in England who was handcuffed after police saw him hand a coin to a homeless man, has been awarded compensation for being unlawfully detained.
Twenty-year-old George Wilson was reportedly confronted by police in Liverpool last year, when an officer assumed Wilson was attempting to sell drugs to the homeless man he was seen handing a coin to.
Ahough Wilson tried to explain the simple mistake to the officer, he reportedly refused to believe the student’s claims and handcuffed him. Wilson managed to get a voice recording of the confrontation between him and the officer using his phone, UNILAD reported.
The officer can be heard in the recording saying: “Look buddy, if I lock you up for being drunk and disorderly, because that’s what you are being, you won’t be a student of the law anymore. I’ll take that off you. So shut your mouth and stop being stupid.”
The Liverpool John Moores University student claimed that the officer not only unlawfully detained him, but also threatened to falsify a statement, according to Daily Mail. Wilson said that when he told the officer he done nothing wrong, saying, “I haven’t committed disorder. I’ve been polite. I’ve been respectful,” the officer threatened to fabricate the information and told him, “That’s not how I’ll write it up, pal.”
The officer denied any threats to falsify a statement and a police investigation concluded that the officer’s words could be interpreted different ways. Merseyside Police said the officer was “spoken to about the matter at a misconduct meeting earlier in the year and was provided advice with training,” according to Daily Mail.
However, it was upheld that Wilson was detained longer than necessary, Daily Mail reported. It was said that he should have been released once the homeless man was searched and no drugs were found. As a result, Wilson was awarded about $7,750.
Wilson said he felt let down by the police and that he felt no justice was actually served, according to UNILAD.
A Merseyside Police spokesperson said the force remains committed to integrity and professional standards, but Lawyer Adam Quick, who was representing Wilson, said the actions were unacceptable.
“It is important that the public are made aware that they do not have to accept such treatment by police officers,” Quick said.
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