A Black schoolgirl who was on her period was strip-searched by cops after being wrongly suspected of carrying cannabis, according to a report.

The girl was subjected to the "traumatic" search in her London school in late 2020 without the cops knowing that she was mensurating. No adult was present at the time she was being searched, Belfast Telegraph reported, citing a safeguarding report published in March.

Racism was "likely to have been an influencing factor" in the search, and the Metropolitan Police since apologized for the incident, admitting that it should "never have happened," the report indicated, according to iNews.

"It is truly regrettable and on behalf of the Met Police I would like to apologize to the child concerned, her family and the wider community," Detective Superintendent Dan Rutland of the Met's Central East Command said, as per the outlet.

The City & Hackney Safeguarding Children Partnership in London conducted the review in connection with the incident, the Belfast Telegraph report said. Its findings suggested that police arrived at the school after teachers alerted them that the teenager, referred to as Child Q, had drugs in her possession since she smelled of cannabis.

After cops arrived at the school, two female officers took her to a medical room where she was strip-searched. Her private parts were exposed during the ordeal, and she was also asked to take off her sanitary pad, the report stated.

However, no drugs were found during the search and she was sent back home by taxi.

The girl later confided in her mother about the humiliating encounter. Her family members said the impact of the incident on the teen was "profound," with its repercussions "obvious and ongoing," according to Belfast Telegraph.

The family members also revealed that, following the incident, the teen changed from a "happy-go-lucky girl to a timid recluse that hardly speaks." They added that she now self-harms and needs therapy.

The review noted that the strip-search would never have happened had she not been Black, adding that the "adultification bias," where adults perceive Black children as older than their real age, also was a factor. "The disproportionate decision to strip search Child Q is unlikely to have been disconnected from her ethnicity and her background as a child growing up on an estate in Hackney," the report read, as per the outlet.

The girl noted in a statement that she could not go a single day "without wanting to scream, shout, cry or just give up." "I need to know that the people who have done this to me can’t do it to anyone else ever again, in fact so no one else can do this to any other child in their care," she wrote, according to iNews.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan addressed the issue, calling the search "shocking and deeply disturbing."

"It is entirely the right that the incident is being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and I will be following the outcome of that closely," Huffington Post quoted him as saying.

"It is absolutely vital that our police service is able to gain the trust and confidence of all the communities it serves so that every Londoner, regardless of background or postcode can feel safe, protected, and served," he said further.

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