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StopWatch responds to outcome of Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams case

A disciplinary tribunal has found two Met officers guilty of gross misconduct over their treatment of Black athletes Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams during a stop and search in 2020.

PC Jonathan Clapham and PC Sam Franks were adjudged to have lied about smelling cannabis while searching Ricardo dos Santos in 2020.

However, the other three officers were acquitted of gross misconduct racism. The panel found as unproven that the race of the athletes played a role in their treatment. Further detail of the case and the hearing can be found here.

Commenting on the decision, StopWatch executive director Habib Kadiri said:

StopWatch is disappointed that the intimidatory tactics of the officers who stopped Ricardo and Bianca were not fully recognised in the panel's decision.
Although two of the officers have been found guilty of gross misconduct, the entire unit has been let off the hook for discriminatory behaviour obvious to any Black person who has been stopped in a vehicle in London.
We fear that police officers will feel emboldened to continue to perform vehicle stops in an overtly aggressive manner, especially towards Black people, many of whom know that Driving While Black carries a heightened risk of harassment and abuse from the Met
This must change. For the Met to be part of the solution rather than the problem, they must start recording the ethnicity of individuals stopped and searched on the roads immediately.

For more comment, please do not hesitate to contact executive director Habib Kadiri.

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