Labour MP accuses police of racial profiling after her car was stopped

9 August 2020, 20:17

By Matt Drake

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

The former shadow equalities secretary said she was pulled over by Metropolitan Police officers in Hackney, east London, on Sunday and had recorded a video of the incident.

The incident comes as police are under heightened scrutiny for the alleged racial profiling of black people.

The MP for Brent Central, in north-west London, told David Lammy on LBC: "It happens every single day to black people."

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.

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

Speaking to Sky News, she said: "We're two black people in a car driving through Hackney and they thought they'll stop them."

The broadcaster reported that Ms Butler and her "black male friend" were pulled over while travelling in a "nice car" and that footage showed officers say they were searching the area because of "gang and knife crime".

During the video of the stop, Ms Butler tells the officers: "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 tells her: "I appreciate everything you say and I do apologise for wasting your time."

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.

"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," a statement said.

"Once the mistake was realised the officer sought to explain this to the occupants; they were then allowed on their way."

The statement did not explain why the registration was entered in the first place.

This 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.

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