Dawn Butler: Labour MP accuses Metropolitan Police of racial profiling after being stopped by officers

She claims there is ‘institutional racism’ in police

Zoe Tidman
Sunday 09 August 2020 17:18
Dawn Butler says she was the victim of racial profiling after the car she was in was stopped by police in Hackney

A Labour MP has claimed she was racially profiled when she was stopped by police in London.

Dawn Butler tweeted on Sunday morning that officers in Hackney had pulled over a car she was in.

Ms Butler said: "It's obviously racial profiling."

"We know that the police is institutionally racist and what we have to do is weed that out," the MP for Brent Central said. "We have to stop seeing black with crime. We have to stop associating being black and driving a nice car with crime."

Scotland Yard said the stop was a result of an officer having "incorrectly entered" the car's registration plate into a computer to wrongly identify it as a vehicle registered to Yorkshire.

Ms Butler, a former shadow equalities secretary, has described being the passenger of a BMW car which was stopped by Metropolitan Police officers on blue lights.

She said her friend, who is also black, was driving through Hackney in east London at the time.

Ms Butler took a video of the incident at around midday on Sunday, with police under heightened scrutiny over incidents of alleged racial profiling.

Her footage shows an officer saying police were carrying out searches because of "gang and knife crime".

In a video of part of the stop, the Labour MP says: “Interesting experience being stopped by police on a Sunday in town.”

She tells the police: “It is really quite irritating. It’s like you cannot drive around and enjoy a Sunday afternoon whilst black, because you’re going to be stopped by police.”

One of the officers in the video says: “I appreciate everything you say and I do apologise for wasting your time.”

Ms Butler has been contacted by The Independent.

The Met issued a statement about a police stop in Hackney which took place around midday on 9 August.

“Prior to stopping the vehicle, an officer incorrectly entered the registration into a police computer which identified the car as registered to an address in Yorkshire,” the force said.

“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.

An officer explained the mistake to the people in the vehicle, who then went on their way, according to the Met.

No one was searched, the force said.

This incident comes in the same week Ms Butler was named by Vogue magazine as one of the 25 most influential women shaping 2020 for her support of Black Lives Matter protests.

She described her backing of the anti-racism movement as having led to threats of attack on her office and staff having “drastically escalated”.

One person was arrested in June in relation to Ms Butler’s safety.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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