MP hits out at police for stopping her and black friend for 'driving nice car'


A Labour MP has accused the Met Police of racial profiling after she and a friend were stopped as they drove through London.

In a filmed exchange with officers, Dawn Butler said it’s “like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black”.

The former shadow equalities minister said she was with a male friend, who is also black, when they were stopped.

Police told her they were searching the area because of “gang and knife crime”.

In a statement, the Met said the car was mistakenly stopped after the licence plate was wrongly entered into a police computer.

The MP for Brent Central, in North London, told Sky News : “There is an institutional racism in the police, we know that, and it needs to be taken out.

The MP filmed the incident in Hackney this afternoon

“It is cancerous and it needs to be cut out of the police force and it’s urgent.

“It is just tiring and exhausting and mentally draining.

“We’re two black people in a car driving through Hackney and they thought they’ll stop them.”

In a video of part of the stop, she tells the police: “It is really quite irritating.

The MP said there is institutional racism within the police

The Brent Central MP is seen talking with a police officer

“It’s like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black, because you’re going to be stopped by police.”

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One of the officers in the video tells her: “I appreciate everything you say and I do apologise for wasting your time.”

Ms Butler is seen telling a police officer that she is an MP, and telling him that by profiling criminals they “create an environment where you create animosity”.

The MP had earlier posted on Twitter : “I JUST GOT STOPPED BY THE POLICE DRIVING THROUGH HACKNEY… MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW… @metpoliceuk I recorded the whole incident.”

Fellow north London MP David Lammy responded on Twitter, posting: “Big hugs Dawn. Love and prayers.”

This week Ms Butler was named by Vogue magazine as one of the 25 most influential women shaping 2020 for her support of Black Lives Matter protests.

She described her backing of the anti-racism movement as having led to threats of attack on her office and staff having “drastically escalated”.

After the stop, former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: “This is so unsurprising. When will the Metropolitan Police give up on racial profiling?”

Dawn Butler has accused the Met Police of racial profiling after she and a friend were stopped

Last month Great Britain sprinter Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo dos Santos were pulled from their car and handcuffed in front of their three-month-old son.

Nothing was found in the search and the Met referred itself to the police watchdog while the force’s commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was forced to apologise for the “distress” caused.

On Saturday, Ms Butler wrote that the commissioner appeared to be “incapable” of tackling institutional racism in the police and called for her resignation.

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The Independent Office for Police Conduct launched an investigation into whether officers in England and Wales racially discriminate against ethnic minority people.

The latest official statistics for stop and search showed a disparity rate of 4.3 for all black, Asian and minority ethnic people and 9.7 for black people.

In a statement the Met said: “At approximately midday on Sunday, 9 August, police stopped a vehicle in Hackney.

“Prior to stopping the vehicle, an officer incorrectly entered the registration into a police computer which identified the car as registered to an address in Yorkshire.

“Upon stopping the vehicle and speaking with the driver, it quickly became apparent that the registration had been entered incorrectly and was registered to the driver in London.

“Once the mistake was realised the officer sought to explain this to the occupants; they were then allowed on their way. 

“No searches were carried out on any individuals.

“One of the occupants has since been contacted by a senior officer and they have discussed the stop, subsequent interaction as well as feedback regarding the stop.

“We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter further with the occupants if they wish to do so.”





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