Five London officers will face a misconduct hearing after stopping and searching two Black athletes, reported The Associated Press. The two accused the officers of racially profiling them after being handcuffed and searched for weapons.
Professional sprinters Bianca Williams and partner Ricardo Dos Santos were stopped in July of 2020 while traveling with their infant child. The officers pulled them over because the car was “being driven in a manner that raised suspicion,” per AP News.
Williams accused the officers of racial profiling in a complaint. “I welcome this decision and hope this opens the door for the Met to start being more honest and reflective about the culture of racism which is undoubtedly still a reality within the organization,” Williams said via the couple’s lawyer.
More on the case from AP News:
The Independent Office for Police Conduct, which handles complaints against police in England and Wales, said the five police officers involved in the stop incident will face a disciplinary panel that “will decide whether allegations that they breached professional standards are proven.”
London police chief Cressida Dick quit in February after Khan publicly criticized her leadership following a string of allegations involving racist and misogynistic behavior within her department’s ranks.
“This case is yet another example of why it is vital that the next commissioner has a more effective plan to tackle the serious cultural issues within the Met Police and to regain the trust of Londoners,” Khan said Tuesday.
The police department has apologized for the distress the officers caused the athletes and also acknowledged their tactics have had a disproportionate impact on “some communities” (by some, they mean Black).
However, they said the policy on the use of handcuffs has been updated to be more clear about what situations are appropriate for it. In this case, I guess “suspicious” driving warrants cuffs.