London Police Thought Black Photographer’s Cardboard Tube Was a Rifle

Ray Fiasco was stopped by police who thought he was brandishing a gun. Photo: @rayfiasco via Instagram

Ray Fiasco was stopped by police who thought he was brandishing a gun.
Photo: @rayfiasco via Instagram

On Wednesday, a photographer was confronted by “about ten” police officers with automatic weapons in front of Buckingham Palace, London, as they believed he was carrying a rifle.

But Ray Fiasco was in fact carrying a cardboard tube containing photographic prints.

Fiasco told the Daily Mail that he thought he would “get done like Charles de Menezes,” referring to the Brazilian man who was shot dead by police in the aftermath of the 7/7 London terrorist attack in 2005.

Police thought the artist was going to attack Buckingham Palace Photo: Ian Mckinnell/Getty Images via The Guardian

Police thought the artist was going to attack Buckingham Palace
Photo: Ian Mckinnell/Getty Images via The Guardian

“I was carrying my art with me, as you do when you are me … My artwork is in a tube, wrapped in plastic because its London and it rains,” the 21-year-old artist, whose real name is Ranen Baynes, explained on Twitter.

“Now someone saw me walking with a smile on my face and decided to conclude that I was carrying a rifle,” he continued. “So they called every form of police. Told them I was carrying a rifle walking towards Buckingham Palace.”

“Four BMWs pull up, block off the whole road, about ten men jump out, guns pointed at me,” Fiasco added, also complaining about racial discrimination. “Because obviously a tall black guy with a cardboard tube is carrying a rifle … Makes sense. Completely,” he lamented.

The photographer was carrying prints in a cardboard tube, which police mistook for a weapon. Photo: helpineedboxes.co.uk

The photographer was carrying prints in a cardboard tube, which police mistook for a weapon.
Photo: helpineedboxes.co.uk

London’s Metropolitan Police refused to comment, saying it never discusses security matters.


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