Met Police racism row shows a ‘clash of perceptions’

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A former Metropolitan Police superintendent has said the fallout over the stop and search of Team GB athlete Bianca Williams highlighted a “clash of perceptions”.

The force was accused of racism after it stopped the Commonwealth Games gold medallist and her partner Ricardo dos Santos at the weekend.

Speaking with talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer, Leroy Logan - also a former chairman of the Black Police Association Charitable Trust - said the force should have taken more time to look at the allegations against it.

“From the public point of view, especially the black community, they have this very strong perception that’s been passed on from generation to generation that they are over-policed and unprotected.

“Then there are perceptions from black officers, which can result in racial profiling by them suggesting that black people are more of a risk…so it’s that clash of perceptions.”

His comments come after Ms Williams said she and Mr dos Santos - a Portuguese 400m sprinter - were racially profiled by officers when they were pulled from their Mercedes in a London street, handcuffed and separated from their three-month-old son.

The Metropolitan Police said yesterday that its Directorate of Professional Standards had revisited body-worn footage and social media videos of Saturday’s incident and found no misconduct issues.

Shadow justice secretary David Lammy has described the video of the incident, which has been widely circulated, as “shocking, shocking footage that anyone in their right mind would be alarmed about”.

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