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2 Jul, 2021 10:30

‘The officer dragged me out of the car’: Cops who stopped sprint duo ‘face investigation over alleged racism & dishonesty’ (VIDEO)

‘The officer dragged me out of the car’: Cops who stopped sprint duo ‘face investigation over alleged racism & dishonesty’ (VIDEO)

Police officers who were involved in the stop and search of British sprinter Bianca Williams and her athlete partner are now under investigation for gross misconduct in relation to racism and dishonesty, reports have claimed.

Ricardo dos Santos and Williams were stopped in north-west London on July 4 last year by Territorial Support Group officers linked to the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS).

They were searched on suspicion of possessing drugs and weapons, with their then-three-month-old son in the back seat. Nothing was found in the vehicle or on their person.

Since then, an investigation launched by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has looked into misconduct claims against five officers and is said to have become more serious after the discovery of new evidence.

Also on rt.com Met chief Cressida Dick apologizes to Team GB’s Bianca Williams over viral ‘stop and search’ incident

The IOPC has already notified three Met officers that they are under investigation for gross misconduct, according to the Guardian – which, if proven, could result in a maximum penalty of dismissal.

All three are reportedly being investigated to measure whether their actions had been influenced by racial bias, with two of the five officers said to be under additional investigation for being dishonest.

The basis for conducting a search of the two elite athletes was because officers thought they could smell cannabis, stopping Dos Santos because he was driving erratically.

"My son is in the car," a distressed Williams could be seen telling them in a video, while their coach, the former Olympic 100 meter champion Linford Christie, accused the police of institutional racism.

The incident lasted around an hour and the couple accuse the officers of raising a baton as Dos Santos alleges he was "dragged" out of his car.

This has led to police reviewing vehicle and body camera footage and data from both Dos Santos' Mercedes and the officers' vehicle, and the Portuguese 400m sprinter expressed his relief to the outlet, saying that "finally this at least looks like a more credible investigation now".

Dos Santos believes that the IOPC's original inquiry was too weak and that the claims of racism weren't taken seriously enough. 

"The officer dragged me out of the car with a raised baton and handcuffed me," he said. "He falsely alleged that he could smell cannabis on me and recorded this as the justification for the search on the stop and search form.

"Discrimination and a lack of honesty was at the heart of the officers’ behaviour that day and now, at last, it is what they are actually being investigated for."

Dos Santos's partner, Williams, admitted to a lack of confidence in current Met commissioner Cressida Dick.

"There is a problem of racism in the Metropolitan police but it is not going to go away unless there is a commitment from the top to tackle it," she said.

"It felt like there was a campaign led by the police commissioner to discredit us and shut down our complaint. I am not hopeful that issues of racism can be addressed in the force under this commissioner."

As the couple's solicitor, Jules Carey, spoke of a "huge admiration for my client’s resilience and patience", the Met confirmed that the officers remain on their normal duties.

"We are aware three MPS officers are subject to a gross misconduct investigation by the IOPC in relation to this matter," it said.

"Another three officers are being investigated for misconduct for potential breaches of standards of professional standards.

"The MPS continues to fully cooperate with the IOPC investigation. No officer is suspended or subject to restricted duties."

The IOPC also explained why its investigation had been upgraded against the group.

"After reviewing a range of new evidence, they were informed they are now subject to an investigation for potential breaches of the police standards of professional behaviour relating to equality and diversity, which requires officers to act with fairness and impartiality and not to discriminate unlawfully or unfairly.

“Two of those officers are also now being investigated for potential breaches of the standards relating to honesty and integrity, requiring them to be honest and act with integrity at all times.

“Collectively, these alleged breaches amount to potential gross misconduct."

Also on rt.com 'They acted like we're FBI Top 10': Sprint star pair who were FORCIBLY hauled from car with baby call UK cops 'DISGUSTING' (VIDEO)