'Hurtful experience': British sprinter accuses police of racial profiling

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 06, 2020, 09.12 PM(IST)

End racism and brutality Photograph:( Reuters )

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"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.

British sprinter Bianca Williams has said on Monday that she is planning to take legal action against the police after accusing them of racial profiling her and her partner in a stop-and-search operation in London.

Williams also rejected police's claim that her car was driven on the wrong side of the road on Saturday. 

"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.

"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.

"That is false. We were never on the wrong side of the road. We were driving down through single-width roads."

The 26-year-old Commonwealth and European 100m relay gold medallist said that her partner Ricardo dos Santos, who is a Portuguese sprinter had been stopped by the police around 10 times. 

"We are planning on taking it down the legal route," she said. "I feel very hurt by their actions... It's an awful experience."

Britain's former Olympic champion Linford Christie, who is also Bianca's coach, filmed the entire incident and posted it on Twitter. The video was captioned: "Racist police aren't just in America".

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The Metropolitan police have reviewed the footage from social media and officers' bodycams and were satisfied there was no concern around the conduct of the police officers.

"I understand the concern when incidents like this happen and how they can appear when part of it is filmed without context," said Met commander for central west London Helen Harper.

"Due to the concern raised, we conducted a review of the stop. This included social media footage and body-worn camera footage of the officers at the scene.

"We are satisfied that there are no misconduct issues."