British sprinter Bianca Williams has accused the Metropolitan Police of racial profiling after her and her partner were stopped and searched.
The Commonwealth Gold medallist Williams and Ricardo dos Santos were pulled from a car for a weapons search in a vehicle in Maida Vale, London on Saturday (July 4) while their three-month old son was on board.
The police have said the vehicle had been driving on the wrong side of the road and that the driver sped off after being asked to stop but Williams and dos Santos believe they were pulled because they were black and in a Mercedes.
Speaking to The Times, Williams said: “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.”
Footage of the incident emerged online where Williams can be heard saying “he didn’t do anything” while officers pull dos Santos out of the vehicle.
The pair say they were handcuffed for while their young son was on board during the search that lasted 45 minutes.
In a police statement the force said on Saturday at around 13:25, officers from the Territorial Support Group “witnessed a vehicle with blacked-out windows that was driving suspiciously, including driving on the wrong side of the road”.
The statement added: “They indicated for it to stop but it failed to do so and made off at speed. The officers caught up with the vehicle when it stopped on Lanhill Road. The driver initially refused to get out of the car.”
Speaking on the incident, Commander Helen Harper said: “I understand the concern when incidents like this happen and how they can appear when part of it is filmed without context.
“Due to the concern raised, we conducted a review of the stop. This included social media footage and bodyworn camera footage of the officers at the scene.
“We are satisfied that there are no misconduct issues.”
Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos plan to formally complain at being stopped and searched.