Tiémoué Bakayoko has had his say, and he didn’t hold back on the system that allowed police officers to needlessly put his life in danger.
Bakayoko, a 27-year-old midfielder on loan from Chelsea at AC Milan, was subjected to shocking treatment from police officers on July 3 in Milan. Video of the incident became public on July 18 and immediately went viral. In response, Milan police released statements saying the actions of the officers were justified.
Shocking footage of Milan’s Bakayoko in Milan’s downtown held at gunpoint by police cause taken for someone else.Check when one of cop goes telling to the colleague searching him that it’s not the suspect but a Milan player, and the cop saying “WHO?!?”
— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) July 18, 2022
Bakayoko responded this week by posting on Instagram his own thoughts of the incident, in which he said the worst parts weren’t even capture on video. He accepted the human errors by the police but condemned the system in which police started the confrontation with guns drawn.
“I’m making this video in light of recent events,” Bakayoko began. “The authorities in Milan have reacted by saying it was an error on behalf of the police officers, and they realized that at the time. It was a human mistake and I have no problem with that.
“However, the way they conducted themselves and the methods they used bother me because I feel things escalated way further than they should have. Why did they not just conduct a control like the name suggests? By asking for the vehicle’s registration, by simply communicating with us."
Milan police claimed they were justified because of a shooting in the area. But Bakayoko wonders if that justified putting innocent lives at risk.
“It should be noted that in the video posted on social media, you don’t see everything,” Bakayoko continued. “They were the calmest moments of the whole ordeal. You should know that I had a gun pointed a meter away from me on the passenger’s side, so they clearly put our lives in danger. Regardless of the reasons that pushed them to do it, it was an error considering there was no certainty regarding the suspects they had apprehended.”
Bakayoko said he was fortunate to come out of the incident unscathed — beyond the mental anguish of having a firearm pointed at him — but wondered how things could have quickly gone tragic, as has happened far too often.
“I have my own opinion on that, once again, but the consequences could have been so much more severe if I hadn’t kept my calm like I did,” Bakayoko said. “What would have happened if not? If I wasn’t fortunate enough to have the job I have and get recognized in time. What would have been the outcome? Would they have taken me to the station? There is ample enough reason to suggest that questions need to be asked once again, so it’s unacceptable to put people’s lives in so much danger, and that’s the point I want to underline. Regardless of whether they say it was an error, and I can understand that, the consequences could have been so much worse.”
There were plenty of jokes after Bakayoko’s arrest video, laughing about the police officer’s reaction when he finally realizes he’s been pointing a gun at a professional footballer. The sad truth of the matter is that these situations can often turn deadly, and we shouldn’t forget the trauma Bakayoko was subjected to simply because police officers chose to confront the situation with guns first, asking questions later.
You can watch Bakayoko’s full response with subtitles below.