/  04.27.2022

Five London police officers are being accused of gross misconduct after the stop and search of two Black athletes according to the city’s Metropolitan Police force.

Professional sprinters, Bianca Williams and Ricardo Dos Santos were stopped in west London on July 4, 2020. Police then  handcuffed and searched the couple while their then-3-month old baby remained in the car.

Nothing was found during the stop.

Fast-forward to nearly two years since the incident, the officers will now stand before the Independent Office for Police conduct for a hearing.The pair filed a complaint following the ordeal accusing the police of racial profiling.

“I welcome this decision and hope this opens the door for the Met to start being more honest and reflective about the culture of racism which is undoubtedly still a reality within the organization,” said Williams in an official statement.

Williams was a sprint relay gold medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and the 2018 European Championships.

The five officers responsible for the stop incident will face a disciplinary panel led by the office which oversees police complaints in England and Wales jurisdictions.

Per reports, the panel “will decide whether allegations that they breached professional standards are proven.”

In February, London police chief, Cressida Dick, stepped down after she was publicly criticized by London mayor Sadiq Khan. She was called out for leadership that involved both racist and misogynistic behavior in the ranks of her department.

“This case is yet another example of why it is vital that the next commissioner has a more effective plan to tackle the serious cultural issues within the Met Police and to regain the trust of Londoners,”  said Khan.

While the police force has issued an apology to the athletes for any distress, patrolling officers say that the reason for the stop and search was due to the vehicle “being driven in a manner that raised suspicion.”

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