Police stop of MP Dawn Butler 'rooted in bias', claims UK leader of black officers

17 August 2020, 05:51

Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused police of racially profiling her after she was stopped by officers while in a car.
Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused police of racially profiling her after she was stopped by officers while in a car. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

The police stop of the Labour MP Dawn Butler was rooted in systemic racism that is damaging the legitimacy of policing, the leader of black police officers has said.

Inspector Andrew George, the new interim president of the National Black Police Association, told the Guardian "we have to look at the processes which led to the stop being conducted", adding: "Training, briefings and culture all contribute to racial profiling."

He told the paper: "We have to acknowledge the hurt the black community is currently feeling and respond robustly to the consistent disproportionalities we see in police use of powers."

Ms Butler, who was stopped while in a car being driven by a friend was stopped by police which led to the MP accusing the force of being "institutionally racist".

Scotland Yard explained the car was stopped because an officer "incorrectly entered" its registration into a police occupier and identified it as a vehicle registered to an address in Yorkshire.

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

Metropolitan Police Federation chairman Ken Marsh has insisted officers did "absolutely nothing wrong" and had "nothing to hide".

But Mr George questioned the reason given for the stop, telling the Guardian: "I would ask why a vehicle being registered in Yorkshire and driving in a global hub like London is enough, by itself, to warrant checking the owner details."

The National Black Police Association was formed after the racist murder of teenager Stephen Lawrence and in the wake of The Macpherson Report.

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