Dawn Butler, a black Labour MP and former shadow secretary of state for women and equalities, was in her friends vehicle when police officers stopped it by mistake last Sunday. She released a video of the incident in which she implied the officers had used racial profiling.
Butler and her friend were driving through Hackney, east London, when the vehicle was pulled over by police officers. When Butler asked whey they had been stopped, the officers said that they were doing “proactive patrol” in the area “combating gang and knife crimes.” The officers added that there was a mistake when they ran the number plate and there were “no issues.”
Butler then asked if they had been profiled because they had come from a different area, for the type of car they were in, or for the colour of their skin. She told the police that they were very polite, but the reason she was stopped worried her.
After the incident, Butler was interviewed by British media outlets, speaking about what she called “institutional racism.”
“Were two black people in a car driving through Hackney and they thought theyll stop them,” she told Sky News.
“There is an institutional racism in the police, we know that, and it needs to be taken out. It is cancerous and it needs to be cut out of the police force and its urgent.”
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Stephen House, deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, said in a statement on Wednesday that the officers involved had acted professionally and politely.
House said the officers stopped the car because of “human error,” and they didnt know the colour of the people in the car because the vehicles windows were tinted.
“I have viewed all the available video material of that interaction and I have read their statements—the officers acted professionally and politely, explaining why the stop was made and, when realising there was a mistake, explaining this and continuing to answer the occupants questions,” House said. “Ms. Butler has said that she has no complaint about how the stop was conducted, rather her concerns lie in why the stop was initiated and I have discussed these concerns with her.”
“The officers who undertook the stop were from the Violent Crime Task Force and were in the area as part of our proactive work to protect communities frRead More – Source