Police arrested recording artist who mistook his microphone stand for a gun, denied injunction against Met




The recording artist arrested by armed police after his microphone stand was mistaken for a gun was denied an injunction to prevent Metropolitan Police officers from arresting him.

Jay Eniola has sought an injunction against force that would prevent them from stopping him or his car, except where warranted by law, arguing that he was risking his life “as a young black man in London” and that “a wrong move, a jerky movement” could lead to him being shot or killed by armed agents.

The High Court has learned that in November 2020, armed officers pointed their guns at him as they approached to search his car after a member of the public falsely reported seeing a gun in his boot.

Tom Stoate, representing Mr Eniola, said: “What we have here is a case of flawed intelligence.”

The court heard that a member of the public reported that a “large long gun was removed from the trunk of a car” at around 10:15 pm on November 3.

“It was a microphone stand, Mr. Eniola is a recording artist,” Mr. Stoate said.

Mr. Eniola, then 24, was arrested just after midnight as several police cars surrounded his vehicle before armed police approached, pointing their guns at him.

The young man was then arrested by police twice in January, with his lawyer arguing that police cases linking Mr. Eniola and guns could threaten his right to life due to the risks of interacting with officers armed.

Mr Stoate said: “On January 15, he was followed to his home by a marked police car. When he stopped, he was searched by district officers.

“When the borough officers follow him in his vehicle, the firearms officers are on the line, just a phone call away.”

Mr Stoate continued: “It looks like the information or whatever, was there on January 15 and is still there now,” he added.

Vincent Williams, for the Metropolitan Police, said granting the injunction would be a “draconian remedy”.

He argued that it would take “real and imminent” risk to life for the injunction to be granted, adding that the argument was “foolish”.

Mr Williams argued that only one incident involved the armed officers, several months ago, with Mr Eniola not having been arrested since January.

He also said the November shutdown was legally justified.

“The police would have been obliged to act on the basis of this information,” he told the court.

“I have no doubt that the shutdown was terrifying,” he said, adding that he calmed down after about 90 seconds and Mr Eniola was reassured.

The court also heard that the police had assured that there was no “explicit instruction” to the officers in charge of the firearms to stop the vehicle of Mr. Eniola.

Addressing the Jan. 15 incident, Mr Williams said it showed the system was working because gun officers were not needed.

“If someone is arrested and searched for firearms and nothing is found, then there is a record of a negative search,” he said.

“If this vehicle is brought to the attention of the police again, then there will be a recording of this search.”

Judge Murray refused to grant the injunction, saying the order sought by Mr. Eniola “compels the police to do what they are already required to do in law”.

Mr Eniola’s claim under the equality law is expected to be heard at a later date.



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