Rome (AFP) – AC Milan midfielder Tiemoue Bakayoko said Wednesday that Italian police who pulled him from his car at gunpoint this month after mistaking him for a shooting suspect “clearly put our lives in danger”.
A video of the July 3 police stop that went viral earlier this month showed the French midfielder with his hands up in the air and pressed to a patrol car being searched by a policeman.
The video shows another officer pointing her pistol at an unseen passenger still inside Bakayoko’s car during the search. After a few moments, another officer approaches Bakayoko and the policeman patting him down, says something, and the policeman releases Bakayoko.
Following the publication of the video, Milan police said Bakayoko and his passenger had been pulled over because they resembled the description of two suspects in a shooting case and denied the control was racial profiling.
“The error is human, I have no problem with it, on the other hand I have a problem with the manner and methodology that were used,” the player said in a video posted on his Instagram account.
“The consequences could have been so much more serious if I had not kept my cool,” he said. “What would have happened if I hadn’t had the chance to do the job I do and be recognised in time? What would have been the aftermath of all this?”
Bakayoko said that the video circulating showed “the calmest part” of his interaction with police and asked why they did not simply ask for the car’s registration, “or by simply communicating”.
“You have to know that I found myself with the gun a meter away from me… They clearly put our lives in danger.”
Amnesty Italy on Monday said the incident recalled “racial profiling”, saying it “could have had serious consequences for an unknown person”.
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