Bianca Williams Stop: Police ‘Want To Discuss Sprinter’s Concerns’

Met Police bosses say they want to speak to a Team GB sprinter who is accusing officers of racially profiling her in a stop and search.

Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos, a Portuguese 400m runner, were stopped in Maida Vale, west London on Saturday.

Ms. Williams, whose three-month-old son was in the car at the time, called it an “awful experience”.
Cdr Helen Harper said she was “really keen” to speak to the couple “to discuss… the concerns they have”.

The Met had said that officers were patrolling the area in which Ms. Williams was stopped because of an increase in youth violence.
But the European and Commonwealth Games gold medalist believes the couple was targeted because they are black and were driving a Mercedes.

“They [the officers] said there’s a lot of youth violence and stabbings in the area and that the car looked very suspicious,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme.

“They see a black male driving a nice car, an all-black car, and they assume that he was involved in some sort of gang, drug, violence problem.”

In a statement on Sunday evening, the Met said the Mercedes was stopped after it was seen driving suspiciously, including being on the wrong side of the road, and that the driver had sped off when asked to stop.
‘Getting ridiculous’

But this was rejected by Ms. Williams, who said: “That is false, we were never on the wrong side of the road. We were driving down through single-width roads.
“We only found out about us driving on the wrong side of the road once they tweeted.

“This isn’t the first or fourth or fifth time, it must be about the 10th. It’s getting ridiculous.
“We are planning on taking it down the legal route. I feel very hurt by their actions, and to witness my partner being taken away and for me to be taken away from my son, my heart hurts.”

The Met said officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards had reviewed footage from social media and officers’ bodycams and were satisfied there was no concern around the officers’ conduct during the stop and search of the two athletes.

“That does not mean there isn’t something to be learnt from every interaction we have with the public,” Cdr Helen Harper said.
“We want to listen to, and speak with, those who raise concerns, to understand more about the issues raised and what more we can do to explain police actions.

“Where we could have interacted in a better way, we need to consider what we should have done differently and take on that learning for the future.”

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