Dawn Butler accuses Met Police of racial profiling after traffic stop

9 August 2020, 19:14 | Updated: 9 August 2020, 20:13

Dawn Butler MP explains her traffic stop to David Lammy

By Seán Hickey

The Labour MP accused the Metropolitan Police of racial profiling after being stopped by the police on Sunday afternoon.

Dawn Butler MP accused the Metropolitan Police of racial profiling after being stopped in Hackney on Sunday afternoon.

The former Shadow Equalities Minister told David Lammy that the car she was travelling in was stopped by police who claimed that the car was registered in North Yorkshire, which she thought a strange reason to stop someone.

"Why is this continuing to happen," David asked. "A few weeks ago it's happening to an athlete, today it's a member of parliament"

Ms Butler said "it happens every single day to black people," and her experience should be further evidence that "we have to tackle the systemic racism in the Met Police."

The Labour MP took aim at the Met Police Commissioner for being reluctant to address systemic racism in the force, stating that "If Cressida Dick doesn't find it a helpful term, then she needs to go."

Ms Butler told David that "we have to remove the structural racism that allows this to continue to flourish."

David wanted to know if Ms Butler would take further action against the Met, to which she replied, "absolutely."

She added that "the police officer admitted that the system is broken," and on a re-check her car came up to the correct address, but it was an apt metaphor for her experience.

"The police system needs to be fixed on so many levels," said the MP for Brent.

The Metropolitan Police said in a statement: "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.

"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.

"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.

"One of the occupants has since been contacted by a senior officer and they have discussed the stop, subsequent interaction as well as feedback regarding the stop.

"We would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter further with the occupants if they wish to do so."