Labour MP Dawn Butler accuses Metropolitan Police of racial profiling after being stopped by officers
The former shadow equalities minister filmed the incident, which happened in the London borough of Hackney on Sunday.
Labour MP Dawn Butler has told Sky News she believes she was the victim of racial profiling after the car she was in was stopped by police.
The former shadow equalities minister filmed the incident, which happened in the London borough of Hackney on Sunday afternoon.
She said police officers stopped her “black male friend” who was driving a “nice car” and questioned her while she was in the passenger seat.
In the footage recorded by Ms Butler, police officers said they were searching the area because of “gang and knife crime”.
Ms Butler told Sky News she was “angry and annoyed” by the incident, claiming the Metropolitan Police has a “cancerous” problem with institutional racism.
She said: “We were stopped because we’re two black people driving in a nice car in Hackney.
“I’m angry because I know it happens all the time every day. And people don’t know why they’ve been stopped.
“There’s one group of people that are disproportionately policed.
“I wasn’t going to go online with this, but the female police officer inflamed the situation. I was getting annoyed and angry with the way she was treating me.
“It is tiring and exhausting and mentally draining if you’re black and getting treated like that. Yes there are issues but deal with it in an equitable way, in an unbiased way, not in a racist way.
“If you’re profiling cars because they’re not from the area that’s a ridiculous way to police. If you’re stopping cars because of the make that’s a ridiculous way to police. And if you’re stopping cars because of the colour of the people inside them, that’s racist.”
The MP for Brent Central said she had been “stopped a number of times” by police since being elected as a member of parliament.
The Metropolitan Police said in a statement that an officer had “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.”
The statement added: “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.”
It said “one of the occupants” had been contacted by a senior officer.
Writing on Twitter, Chief Superintendent Roy Smith said he had spoken to Ms Butler over the phone, adding that “she has given me a very balanced account of the incident”.
“She was positive about one officer and gave feedback on others and the stop,” he wrote.
“We are listening to those concerns and Dawn is quite entitled to raise them.”
Last month Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick apologised to British sprinter Bianca Williams after the athlete and her partner were handcuffed during a stop and search.
Williams claimed officers racially profiled her and Ricardo dos Santos during the traffic stop in Maida Vale, west London, which saw the pair being separated from their three-month-old son.
The Met Police referred itself to the police watchdog over the incident.