A black man feared he would be “choked or killed” when he was handcuffed and bundled to the floor by police, in a case of mistaken identity, a court has heard.

Emmanuel Ugborokefe’s wife and two children screamed in panic when they saw him being arrested for being “in the wrong place at the wrong time” after a Rolex robbery nearby.

Metropolitan Police Sergeant Emily Joshi, 30 of Watford, and Constable Ozan Yelken, 33, of Waltham Abbey in Essex, have both pleaded not guilty to assaulting the man by beating him.

They are now standing trial at City of London Magistrates’ Court.

Times Series: Sergeant Emily Joshi, from Watford, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court. Credit: PASergeant Emily Joshi, from Watford, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court. Credit: PA (Image: PA)

It is alleged they assaulted Mr Ugborokefe, who said he “felt discriminated against” during the encounter when stopped in Wykeham Road, Hendon, on December 28 last year.

Mr Ugborokefe was present in court but Richard Milne, prosecuting, read his statement to the judge, detailing how the complainant had travelled to London for the day with his wife and two daughters to shop in Oxford Street before stopping on Wykeham Road where he had arranged to collect a microwave he had purchased on eBay.

Sgt Joshi and Pc Yelken were on duty when they were called to reports of a Rolex robbery in the area, and told the court that Mr Ugborokefe, as a black man in dark-coloured clothing, matched the description of one of the suspects.

Mr Ugborokefe was approached by Sgt Joshi and Pc Yelken and was told he matched the description of a suspect.

Despite protesting his innocence and repeatedly saying “don’t handcuff me”, Sgt Joshi handcuffed one of his hands and took the man to the ground to fully handcuff him as reinforcement officers arrived to restrain him.

By this point, his wife and daughter had exited their car and were screaming in distress. Mr Ugborokefe’s wife was arrested for allegedly assaulting Sgt Joshi during the incident, the court heard.

The prosecution’s case is that an “unnecessary use of force” was used when it became “clear he was not a suspect”.

Times Series: Sergeant Emily Joshi, from Watford, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court. Credit: PASergeant Emily Joshi, from Watford, leaving Westminster Magistrates' Court. Credit: PA (Image: PA)

In his statement, Mr Ugborokefe claimed Sgt Joshi was “aggressive” during the encounter, adding: “I believe this incident occurred to me because of the colour of my skin.

“There was nothing I could do to make a difference, in their mind I was a criminal because of the colour of my skin.”

On being handcuffed and taken to the floor, he added: “I became scared I was going to be choked or killed.

“I thought it was going to be the end of me and my family was watching.”

Sgt Joshi said she was “not aware” Mr Ugborokefe’s wife and children were in the car when she approached him, saying that “at the time he looked odd and suspicious” and she suspected he was involved in the robbery.

During the struggle to handcuff him, she said she was “focused on protecting myself and my colleague” and was “fearful for my safety” due to his size and resistance.

In a statement, Pc Yelken said the claimant was “verbally resistant” to Sgt Joshi, so he “tried to deploy tactical communication to calm him down”.

He said he noticed Mr Ugborokefe was trying to put his free hand in his pocket, so he tried to bend his arm to his back but this failed because he was “too strong”, so he deployed a “tactical takedown” to put the claimant on the floor.

Ben Summers, for Sgt Joshi, said: “You used force to resist their attempts to handcuff you”.

Nicholas Yeo, for Pc Yelken, said the defendants had been told the Rolex robbery suspects had separated and that one had gone towards Wykeham Road.

He added: “You were very much the wrong person, at the wrong place, at the wrong time and that is why the police officer made the mistake that he did.”

The trial continues.

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