Essex Police is being investigated after an Instagrammer and her boyfriend were mistakenly arrested by police pursuing a stolen car. 

Fashion blogger Kaana Grace and her boyfriend, who is black, were arrested on Loughton High Road at around 2pm on Saturday, October 3 - just moments after the stolen car sped past them. 

In footage uploaded to Ms Grace’s Instagram page, officers can be seen restraining her boyfriend, who is black, as he screams in pain.

CS gas, an incapacitant, was also sprayed on his face. 

Essex Police referred itself to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and the police watchdog is now appealing for witnesses to the incident. 

Previous story: Instagram influencer's black boyfriend mistakenly arrested by police pursuing car

IOPC regional director Graham Beesley said: “We are investigating the circumstances of this incident including the identification, detention and arrest of the couple as suspects.

"Our investigation will also examine whether the force used on the man was reasonable, necessary and proportionate, whether his treatment was influenced by his race and the aftercare provided to the man. We have begun gathering statements from officers and witnesses and reviewing footage of the incident.

“It is important we establish exactly what happened during the incident and we are aware there were a number of people who may have seen or filmed all or part of the couple’s interaction with the police officers. Anyone who did is asked to contact our investigators to assist with our independent investigation.”

If you have any information, call 0300 303 5732 or email

In an Instagram post detailing the "shocking and upsetting" blunder, Ms Grace said she and her boyfriend had left her house at about 1.40pm to go to the shops. 

Ms Grace, who has more than 60,000 followers on Instagram, said: “We saw a black stolen car speeding down Loughton High Road with police car/vans chasing the vehicle. It could’ve killed people. It was serving busy traffic and even I had to run across the road as they nearly drove over me and my boyfriend on the pavement.

“All of a sudden two police cars had unexpectedly pulled up and they hopped out and grabbed me and my boyfriend and spraying [sic] us with pepper spray and arrested us without telling us why.”

Ms Grace added: “We are so ashamed and upset we had to go through this.”
Essex Police said Ms Grace's boyfriend was arrested because his clothing matched the description of a driver who had run off from a suspected cloned car after being chased by police. 

Assistant chief constable Andy Prophet has apologised for the case of mistaken identity.

A spokesperson for Essex Police explained earlier this month: “Based on this description of his clothing officers asked to speak to the man. He pulled away from officers despite being asked to stand still and remain calm. The officers suspected he was seeking to escape so he was physically restrained.

“It was quickly established the man was in fact not connected to the suspected cloned vehicle and he was allowed to go on his way shortly afterwards.

“At the same time and in the immediate vicinity, another set of officers detained a second man whose clothing matched the same description. He was arrested, interviewed and released under investigation.”

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