Sprinter Bianca Williams and her partner accuse police of racial profiling
5 July 2020, 11:58 | Updated: 6 July 2020, 08:18
A sprinter has accused Scotland Yard of ‘institutional racism’ after she was pulled over and handcuffed along with her partner while driving with their baby in the car.
Video footage shows the athletes being detained by police during the stop.
Olympic champion Linford Christie posted on Twitter: “Two of my athletes were stopped by the police today, both international athletes, bot parents of a three month old baby who was with then and both handcuffed outside of their home.
“Can Cressida Dick or anyone please explain to me what justification the Met police officers had in assaulting the driver, taking a mother away from her baby all without one piece of PPE and then calling the sniffer dog unit to check the car over.”
He continued: “Was it the car that was suspicious or the black family in it which led to such a violent confrontation.”
Athlete Bianca Williams spoke out about the incident, posting on Twitter: "Yesterday routing home from training we got pulled over because @MetPoliceUK assumed the car was driving suspiciously."
She told the Times: "It's always the same thing with Ricardo [her partner].
"They think he's driving a stolen vehicle, or he's been smoking cannabis."
She added: "It's racial profiling.
"The way they spoke to Ricardo, like he was scum, dirt on their shoe, was shocking. It was awful to watch."
Scotland Yard said their officers were on patrol in the area because of 'an increase of youth violence involving weapons'.
The Independent Office for Police Conduct replied to Mr Christie's video tweet and said: "We are aware of this matter and will be making further inquiries."
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "At around 1325 on 04/07/2020, officers from the Territorial Support Group were patrolling in the W9 area in response to an increase in youth violence involving weapons.
"A vehicle with blacked out windows made off at speed from the officers, travelling the wrong side of the road. The officers eventually caught up with the vehicle which was stopped in LANHILL ROAD W9. The driver initially refused to get out of the vehicle.
"The occupants, a 25 year-old man and a 26-year-old woman, were informed that they were being detained for the purposes of a search under Section 1 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984.
"After a search was conducted on the persons/ vehicle, no arrests were made and the occupants were allowed on their way. Each stop is dealt with on its own merits at the discretion of the individual officers involved taking into account various aspects including behaviour and compliance.
"Officers have to make these judgement calls regularly on a daily basis, often in difficult circumstances.
"They understand that their actions will be scrutinised as they go about their work and that the public have the right to hold them to account where appropriate. In this instance, officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards Unit have reviewed both footage from social media & the body-worn video of the officers on scene, and are satisfied that there is no concern around the conduct of officers."