Bianca Williams: British athlete calls for ‘rigorous’ investigation into handcuffing incident


Williams had been within the West London neighborhood of Maida Vale along with her companion, Portuguese 400 meter report holder Ricardo dos Santos, and their three-month-old son after they had been stopped by police final weekend.

An unbiased investigation is now “necessary”, says Williams, “as the Metropolitan Police have proved that they cannot be trusted to investigate a complaint themselves, having already publicly stated that there has been no misconduct.

“They printed these findings on Twitter earlier than taking a single step to formally report or examine why their actions precipitated our household a lot misery.”

Handcuffing procedures

Williams said in the statement that she and her partner had received an apology from the police but “not for the wholly unjustified actions that officers took in opposition to our household.”

She added: “We are actually contacting the IOPC by way of our legal professionals and can help totally with the investigation, which we hope can be rigorous.”

On Wednesday, the Metropolitan Police apologized to the couple for “misery precipitated,” though the organization did not apologize for the traffic stop itself.

Police Commissioner Cressida Dick has said the Metropolitan Police will undergo a review of its handcuffing procedures after officers handcuffed Williams and her partner.

A senior official has been tasked to conduct the review after the incident, Dick told lawmakers on Wednesday.

“I do not need, and I do not imagine I do, run a police service during which handcuffing is routine. It should at all times be justified and the justification should be within the regulation and written down,” she said.

“Having seen quite a lot of points raised over the past a number of weeks I’ve mentioned to one among my senior officers: ‘Can you please assessment our handcuffing practices to make it possible for it hasn’t turn out to be in any approach a default in sure conditions as a result of it should not do.'”

The review will examine figures on stop and searches carried out by London’s police.

“I’ve additionally bought a brand new use of power oversight group, which entails members of the group they usually’ll be trying … at these particular cases in addition to knowledge,” said Dick, who offered her own apology to Williams and her partner.

“My senior officer has mentioned I’m sorry to Ms. Williams for the misery it has clearly precipitated her, and I say that too. So if there are classes to be learnt from it, we’ll study them and I’m taking a look at handcuffing as a particular difficulty.”

‘Racial profiing’

British Athletics instructed CNN: “We are conscious of the vastly distressing footage of Bianca Williams and her companion being handcuffed by the police outdoors their dwelling on the weekend. Our workers have been in contact along with her and can be available for any help required.”

Earlier this week, Williams had accused the Metropolitan Police of “racial profiling.”
Footage of the incident, which was posted on social media by the pair’s coach and Olympic gold medalist Linford Christie, seems to point out two folks — though their faces aren’t seen — being pulled out of a automotive.
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When requested to step outdoors the automotive by a police officer, a person is heard asking “For what?”

Once out of the car, two other officers approach the woman who tells them “he did not do something.”

The woman grows increasingly distressed and shouts: “My son is within the automotive […] I do not need you to take care of him.” Officers tell her to “chill out” and “get out of the automotive.”

Christie later posted a message on social media referring to the incident: “Two of my Athletes had been stopped by the police immediately, each International athletes, each mother and father of a three-month-old child who was with them & each handcuffed outdoors of their dwelling […] Was it the automotive that was suspicious or the black household in it which led to such a violent confrontation & lastly an accusation of the automotive smelling of weed however refusing to do a roadside drug take a look at.”
“It’s at all times the identical factor with Ricardo. They suppose he is driving a stolen car, or he is been smoking hashish. It’s racial profiling,” Williams told The Times of London newspaper.

“They spoke to him as if he was nothing, as if he was nugatory. As if he was simply — like he was scum. It was horrible,” Williams told CNN.

Williams told CNN that when approached by police, her first priority was the safety of her young son.

“He’s our son, and his security is the whole lot to us. We do not know what’s gonna occur with the police, the police are so unpredictable,” she said.

“We’re elevating a Black boy who’s then going to be going to highschool by himself and he will be doing issues by himself. We’re going to need to get used to it and to show him that … he may be stopped by the police due to the colour of his pores and skin. It’s simply surprising that now we have to inform our son this to be sincere,” Williams told CNN.

A Metropolitan police statement on Sunday mentioned a automotive had been stopped within the W9 space on Saturday afternoon round 1:25pm native time after it was seen “driving suspiciously.”
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Stop and search statistics

“Following a search of the car, the person and the lady, nothing was discovered. No arrests had been made and the occupants had been allowed on their approach,” read the statement.

Dos Santos told CNN that he had been stopped 15 times since December 2017. He said that he has previously been accused by police of driving a stolen vehicle, and mistakenly profiled as someone who sold drugs and carried weapons.

Speaking about Saturday’s incident, he said: “The unhealthy factor is it did not have an effect on me as a lot because it ought to, as a result of for me I really feel like that is my new regular. Unfortunately, that is my regular. It has occurred so usually that it is turn out to be second nature,” he told CNN.

Earlier this year, UK government data showed that between April 2018 and March 2019, there were four stop and searches for every 1,000 White people, compared with 38 for every 1,000 Black people in England and Wales.

Racism in the UK may attract less attention than in the US, but it is no less present. An exclusive CNN/Savanta ComRes poll found that many Black people in the UK are twice as likely as White people to say they have not been treated with respect by police.

Black people are also about twice as likely as White people to say UK police are institutionally racist — among White people, just over a quarter believe it.

On Monday, police commander Helen Harper said that officials were “eager to talk personally to the occupants of the car to debate what occurred and the issues they’ve.”

Harper said that The Directorate of Professional Standards had reviewed the stop, and were “content material” there were no misconduct issues after reviewing the officers’ body camera footage, social media footage and details of the incident.

“However, that doesn’t imply there is not one thing to be learnt from each interplay now we have with the general public. We wish to take heed to, and communicate with, those that increase issues, to grasp extra in regards to the points raised and what extra we are able to do to clarify police actions,” she mentioned in a statement.

“Where we might have interacted in a greater approach, we have to take into account what we must always have accomplished otherwise and tackle that studying for the long run.”





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