Tiémoué Bakayoko is going viral for all the wrong reasons.
The AC Milan player — on loan from Chelsea — was recently held at gunpoint by police in Milan. After video of the incident became public, the police said they were completely justified in the treatment of the professional footballer.
Bakayoko, a 27-year-old French international, was thrown up against a police car and searched by officers who had guns drawn.
Tiémoué Bakayoko Arrest Video
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
The incident took place on July 3, but police only released a statement about the incident after the above video circulated on the internet on Monday. The police statement said pulling a gun on a footballer was justified because there was a shooting in the area.
“It should be noted that the search occurred in an operational context that justified the adoption of the highest security measures,” read a statement to Reuters. “Also as a function of self-protection, and was carried out in a manner absolutely consistent with the type of alarm in progress. Once the person had been identified and established that he was not involved, the service was resumed without any kind of remark from the person concerned.”
In a statement to CNN, the Milan Police press office said it was a “misunderstanding” but that the officers “behaved correctly.”
“With reference to the video released today, related to a police check carried out against the Milan player Tiémoué Bakayoko, we underline that the check — occurred during an operation whose context justified the adoption of the highest security measures, also for self-protection purposes — was carried out in a manner that was absolutely consistent with the situation of danger,” the statement read. “Once the person was identified and his being unrelated to the facts had been clarified, the police duties resumed regularly, without any kind of complaint on behalf of the person involved.”
Personally, I’d argue that simply driving a car does not warrant being held at gunpoint, but I guess police officers have different ideas of what counts as appropriate behavior.
What made the officers think a soccer player was involved in the shooting? The police didn’t say, but Twitter certainly had its thoughts.
AC Milan player Tiémoué Bakayoko being frisked by Italian police for obviously doing nothing. Or they just can't imagine a black man driving a fancy car.Imaging the trauma he'll be going through. Cops pulling out guns like he robbed Italy's central bank.
Being black a crime? pic.twitter.com/EfZrIQTou8
— Oh' Kelvin (@kelvinekerete) July 18, 2022
RACISM! The French selection player Tiemoué Bakayoko and his friend was stopped, searched and hold with guns pointed at thems only the time till one of the officers realised Tiemoué is a famous player.
See in the video below. https://t.co/nEpRNehkkE— Elda Cardoso (@EldaCardoso7) July 18, 2022
Fortunately, the officers let Bakayoko go after they realized who they were dealing with. You can see the exact moment one officer learns he’s got his hands all over a professional footballer, and we can laugh at it because, at least this time, the cops didn’t kill an unarmed Black man.
Police officer reaction when he realised he has arrested by mistake Chelsea’s Tiémoué Bakayoko who was loan at AC Milan. pic.twitter.com/eMYrrvf2bD— Frank Khalid (@FrankKhalidUK) July 18, 2022
Bakayoko is in the middle of a two-year loan at AC Milan. The central midfielder joined Chelsea in 2017 for $44 million and made 43 appearances for the Blues in the 2017-18 season. He’s spent the last four seasons on loan, first to Milan, then Monaco, then Napoli and back to Milan, where Bakayoko made 14 Serie A appearances for the league champions in 2021-22.