A POLICE officer was caught on camera interrogating a jogger on the street for 15 minutes – for wearing a weighted exercise vest.
The suspicious bobby was filmed telling the man that his exercise jacket resembled a police flak jacket and was “not normal”.
A video posted online on YouTube shows the startled athlete being ordered to provide his details and identification on Clerk Street, Newington.
At one point during the altercation, the jogger pans his camera downwards and asks: “Is that a gun?”
Exercise vests featuring pockets for extra weights typically cost around £50 and have become popular as a way of building muscle.
The jogger – who calls himself StealthyMonk on YouTube – is believed to have been spotted by officers in an armed response vehicle, usually made up of two marksmen and an expert driver.
After approaching the jogger, the officer tells the man he is wearing a vest that is “very similar in appearance” to his own uniform.
The officer tells the man he is not “dressed normally” then asks him to turn off his camera because it is breaching his human rights. After the jogger shows the weighted beads inside the garment, the officer goes back to a police Range Rover and consults with his colleagues for a further ten minutes.
The vest wearer says: “He forced me to give my details, despite no crime being committed, or face arrest for obstructing an officer in his duty.”
The video has attracted more than 3000 views.
John Scott, former chair of the Scottish Human Rights Centre and vice-president for crime of the Society of Solicitor-Advocates, said: “It sounds like a situation where the police could have satisfied themselves that there was nothing suspicious within a few minutes.”
A spokeswoman for Sports Warehouse, based in Coburg Street, Leith, which sells vests similar to the one in the video, said: “I can’t understand why someone would be stopped for wearing one. They aren’t particularly suspicious-looking.”
Scottish Conservative chief whip John Lamont defended the officer. He said: “The delay in resolving this seems to have been caused by the walker in question refusing to co-operate with a fairly straightforward request. If he had simply given his details to officers instead of filming and antagonising them, this matter would have been over in no time.”
A Police Scotland spokesman said: “We would be happy to engage with the gentleman who recorded the footage in order to discuss any concerns he has regarding the contact he had with officers.”