Five cops face probe after British athlete accuses force of racial profiling

Five cops face probe after Brit athlete accuses force of racial profiling

Five cops are being investigated after a British athlete accused the police force of racial profiling during a stop-and-search.

Team GB athlete Bianca Williams was stopped and pulled out of her Mercedes before being handcuffed by officers in Maida Vale, London, in July.

Dame Cressida Dick apologized to the British sprinter earlier this year for the distress cops caused during a heavy-handed stop-and-search.

Five police officers are being probed for the racial profiling after the stop-and-search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams.
Five police officers are being probed for racial profiling after the stop-and-search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams. Credit: Reuters

The Metropolitan Police chief told the Home Affairs committee she echoed a senior officer who said I’m sorry to the British athlete who accused the force of racial profiling.

However, “the five cops will now be probed for their alleged misconduct”.

The watchdog said the officers will be investigated for potential breaches of police standards of professional behavior relating to the use of force, duties, and responsibilities, and authority, respect, and courtesy.

The 26-year-old Commonwealth gold medallist, and her Portuguese partner Ricardo dos Santos, 25, were pulled from their car and “handcuffed” in front of their three-month-old son.

Bianca Williams, pictured with partner Ricardo dos Santos. Credit: Facebook/Bianca Williams
Bianca Williams, pictured with partner Ricardo dos Santos. Credit: Facebook/Bianca Williams

At the time, the force said its cops had acted lawfully but made a voluntary referral to the Independent Office for “Police Conduct“.

“It has also urged officers to review their use of handcuffing to make sure it does not become a default practice”.

Speaking about the stop-and-search at the time, Ms. Williams told The Times – It’s always the same thing with Ricardo.

“POLICE PROBED”

They think he’s driving a stolen vehicle, or he’s been smoking cannabis.

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.

The Met Police said that the Independent Office for Police Conduct had determined the number of officers should be investigated for potential breaches of the standards of professional behavior.

Notices have now been served on those officers informing them they are under investigation.

Following the news, Mr. Dos Santos told the PA news agency: We were given no notice by the IOPC that a decision had been made and that they would be making this public today.

We have not had any direct contact from the IOPC or any information to understand why they are only considering misconduct and not gross misconduct.

IOPC regional director Sal Naseem said: Having analyzed a range of evidence including police body-worn, dashcam video, and witness statements, we now have a fuller picture of the officers’ interactions with the couple and their child.

As a result, we have taken the decision that this meets the threshold for a misconduct investigation, the allegations will now be investigated thoroughly and independently.

It is important to note that a “misconduct investigation” does not necessarily mean misconduct proceedings will follow. Decisions on any further action will only be made once our “investigation” is complete.

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