A black man was stopped and searched by police after officers said he was “not dressed for the climate”.
The man, who was wearing a coat, was detained in what police described as “an area well known for drug dealing” in Croydon on Wednesday afternoon.
Footage shared on TikTok, which has been viewed more than 400,000 times, showed one officer saying “you’re not dressed for the climate” and another adding the man’s outfit “just seems odd”.
A statement from the Metropolitan Police said the man was “wearing several layers of clothing despite the warm weather” and “became hostile and refused to account for what he was doing” after being approached by officers from the Violent Crime Taskforce.
In the clip, a male officer says: “I’m just wondering why you’re wearing a coat.
“If people are trying to hide things, they wear baggy clothes.”
The man replies: "I can wear my own coat."
He then offers to hand his jacket over to police if they replace it with a new one.
A female officer adds: "We don’t want your coat, we’re asking why you’re wearing it. You’re not dressed for the climate."
The man says: "I wear anything I want, what’s wrong with you? What do you mean the climate, who tells me how to dress? I don’t even want to talk to you."
The female officer replies she’s going to detain him before the video ends abruptly.
The man posted the TikTok video with a message saying: “Today I was being harassed by these 3 illiterate officers, giggling like kids when they were asking me idiotic questions like what am I wearing & why I look like I do.
“This bullying tactic they use is to get guys like me reacting a way they want so they can arrest me. This needs to stop.”
Police said the man was detained and searched under the Misuse of Drugs Act and he “went on his way” when nothing was found.
Detective Chief Superintendent Lee Hill, of the Violent Crime Taskforce, added: “We are aware of footage circulating on social media; this shows only a small part of this incident and we would ask people not to rush to judgement.
“In this instance a formal complaint has been received and is being handled in accordance with the Police Reform Act. This will include a review of all the available footage, including the officer’s body-worn video.
“Our officers have to conduct themselves in the most challenging of circumstances and it is right their actions should be subject to public scrutiny.”