Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused police of racially profiling her after a vehicle she was travelling in was pulled over for questioning.
The former shadow equalities secretary was a passenger in a BMW driven by a friend, who like her is black, in Hackney, east London, when they were stopped by officers on Sunday.
Scotland Yard said the stop was a result of an officer having “incorrectly entered” the car’s registration plate into a computer to wrongly identify it as a vehicle registered to Yorkshire, but did not explain why the search was carried out in the first place.
The MP for Brent Central, who recorded the incident, said it was “obviously racial profiling.”
“We know that the police is institutionally racist and what we have to do is weed that out. We have to stop seeing black with crime. We have to stop associating being black and driving a nice car with crime.”
Her claims were strongly criticised by founder of the Equiano Project – a freedom of speech platform on issues of race, culture and politics – Inaya Folarin Iman.
“She is perpetuating the assumption that any interaction is instantly one of racism…for a Member of Parliament to use her position to cement racial tensions, I find that morally reprehensible,” she told talkRADIO’s Ian Collins.
However, vice chairman of Race on the Agenda Maurice McLeod defended the politician
“Pointing out where something is wrong is not wrong in itself, calling out racism is exactly what we should all be doing, it’s exactly what Dawn should be doing and I’m really glad that she did.”
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