Portsmouth man who allegedly spat at officers after car stopped for bad tyre screams he is 'going to die' amid claims he is victim of racism
A MAN who allegedly spat at police officers when his car was pulled over for a damaged tyre claimed he was ‘going to die’ when being detained and was only arrested because he was black, a court heard.
Worthmore Munyeza, 36, was repeatedly screaming out in pain after officers attempted to secure a roadside breath test to see if he was over the drink-drive limit on Havant Road, Drayton, on July 12 last year.
Portsmouth Crown Court was shown body-worn footage of the incident when the defendant’s Ford Mondeo car was stopped after 1am amid concerns over the tyre.
The footage, played to the court, showed Munyeza admit to officers he had drunk one alcoholic drink before events suddenly erupted into a series of screams and claims against officers.
‘Just because I’ve had a drink you think I’m drunk,’ Munyeza yelled in the video before adding: ‘You assume I’m drunk because I’m black.’
As handcuffs are put on Munyeza, of Blount Road, Old Portsmouth, he screamed: ‘They are digging into my hands. I feel so humiliated.’
An officer responds: ‘Sir, can you provide a specimen?’
But Munyeza, still shouting out in pain, replied: ‘How much can a man take? I am in pain, so much pain.’
Munyeza then told officers: ‘My mouth is dry. I can’t breathe.’
He then added: ‘I’m going to die.’
Munyeza complained of being pushed against the police vehicle before an officer responded: ‘I’m not pushing you, I’m just holding you against the vehicle.’
But Munyeza hits back: ‘My last breath before I die. I’m scared I’m going to die right now. My children will never know what happened to me. I’m in pain. I’m in pain.’
The defendant then added: ‘This is retaliation of the police force against my previous victories over them.’
The footage then moves on before an officer says he is being spat at by Munyeza. ‘Do not spit at us,’ PC Phil Robertson said before calling the defendant a ‘dirty *******’.
Moments later as Munyeza is being taken into a police van which has now arrived, PC Robin Tompkins says he has been spat on. ‘He got me in the face,’ he said before wiping his face.
During cross examination Munyeza, defending himself, took issue with PC Robertson over a number of issues including saying he was not spitting towards the officers after ‘clearing his throat’ and having his head against the car window - making it difficult to turn his head and spit in the officer’s face.
But denying force had been unreasonable, PC Robertson said: ‘I believe the force was correct at the time.’
Munyeza also questioned the credibility of PC Robertson’s statement after he had initially said he saw the defendant spit on his colleague PC Tompkins before having doubts over that when giving evidence.
‘At the time I felt I saw him do it and here we are 18 months later and my mind has a different recollection of what I saw,’ he said.
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Questions over racism were also raised but PC Robertson said: ‘A person is a person to me. We are just two human beings.’
The officer agreed his statement suggested a more significant impact of the incident on him than what was posted on Hampshire police’s roads Twitter account. ‘You play it down (on Twitter) and soften the situation. You don’t want to put a tweet on that you are mentally affected,’ he said.
Munyeza went on to highlight how a tweet relating to him being charged also referenced a spit hood restraining device being used - but was never deployed at the scene.
The defendant added: ‘Your statement exaggerates the impact of you being spat at to make things look worse.’
Munyeza denies two counts of common assault of an emergency worker and criminal damage where he is alleged to have spat and urinated in the police van.