Dawn Butler hits out at 'racist trolls' after accusing Metropolitan Police of racial profiling over car stop

Ross McGuinness
·3-min read

Dawn Butler has hit out at “racist trolls” after she accused the Metropolitan Police of racially profiling her when she was stopped while travelling in a car.

The Labour MP was a passenger in a car that was stopped by police in Hackney, east London, on Sunday.

Butler, a vocal critic of stop and search, recorded a video of the incident at about midday, with police under heightened scrutiny over incidents of alleged racial profiling.

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On Monday, she tweeted: “I see the racist trolls are going crazy with conspiracy theories.”

She said claims on social media that the car was being driven by a white man were untrue, and pointed out that her friend is black.

Dawn Butler during the Labour leadership hustings at the SEC centre, Glasgow.
Dawn Butler was in a car that was stopped by police in east London. (PA)

The MP for Brent Central called on police officers to "stop associating being black and driving a nice car with crime" after the BMW she was travelling in was pulled over.

"It's obviously racial profiling,” she said.

“We know that the police is institutionally racist and what we have to do is weed that out. 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, but did not explain why the search was carried out in the first place.

On Monday, Boris Johnson said the police should treat people with "fairness and equality”.

“The police have made a statement saying that they made a mistake,” he said.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson sanitises his hands during his visit to St Joseph's Catholic Primary School in Upminster, east London, to see work to make schools safe for return in September.
On Monday, Boris Johnson said police should treat people with 'fairness and equality'. (PA)

"They have spoken to the occupants of the car but it's obviously very, very important that the Met continue to do everything that they can – as indeed they do – to show that they are serving every part of our country, every part of our community, with fairness and equality."

Responding to Johnson’s comments, Butler said: “The problem is that currently every part of the community is not being served with fairness and equality.

“The police are policing not on intelligence or reasonable suspicions, they are using bias and they are stereotyping and they are making assumptions.”

In footage from the stop, an officer says police are carrying out searches because of "gang and knife crime".

Butler told 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."

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Later, Scotland Yard's statement said: "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."

Last month, Great Britain sprinter Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo dos Santos were pulled from their car in London and handcuffed in front of their three-month-old son.

Nothing was found in the search and the Met referred itself to the police watchdog, while the force's commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was forced to apologise for the "distress" caused.