Dawn Butler video: Labour MP says cops are ‘making assumptions’ after being 'racially profiled' in London

LABOUR MP Dawn Butler today accused the Met Police of "stereotyping" after being stopped by police on a Sunday drive.

Ms Butler, former shadow equalities minister, filmed the confrontation with cops who pulled over her black friend while she was in the car as they drove through Hackney, East London.

And Boris Johnson has today weighed in, saying the police must act with "fairness and equality" after the incident.

The Prime Minister said the Metropolitan Police had acknowledged the intervention was the result of a mistake and said the force had to "continue to do everything that they can" to show they were serving "every part of our community".

His comments came after the MP for Brent Central in North London, who had been in the passenger seat, claimed the officers had stopped the car on Sunday and demanded to know what was in the back.

Ms Butler had earlier said she was left "irritated and angry" by the stop and search and accused the Metropolitan Police of being "institutionally racist".

She later blasted: "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.

"That is not helping society and it is also not helping communities that we need to engage with."

Scotland Yard said the car was pulled over after an officer entered the wrong details into the police computer which wrongly claimed the car was registered to Yorkshire.


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

"We know 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."

Ms Butler said cops said they were searching the area because of "gang and knife crime".

In the footage obtained by Sky News, the MP can be heard telling the police officer she was "concerned about the reason for the stop".

Ms Butler said: "If you are profiling people who are driving a certain type of car that's an inappropriate reason to stop anyone and if you are profiling people because of the colour of their skin that's an inappropriate reason."

One of the officers can then be heard saying: "I appreciate everything you say and I do apologise for wasting your time."

We were stopped because we're two black people driving in a nice car in Hackney

Ms Butler told Sky News she was "angry and annoyed" about what happened and claimed the Metropolitan Police has a "cancerous" problem with institutional racism.

She added: "We were stopped because we're two black people driving in a nice car in Hackney."

The MP told The Guardian that police told her they were stopped because vehicle was registered in North Yorkshire – but after taking the keys and checking the registration they admitted there was a mistake.

Ms Butler said: "It’s really important that we focus on whether the system is institutionally racist.

"It needs to change – it’s a bogus reason for stopping someone."

Sadiq Khan, the Mayor of London, today weighed in, saying he "completely understood" why Ms Butler was so upset.

He said: "I take allegations of racial profiling very seriously & welcome Dawn taking her concerns up with senior Met officers.

"It’s crucial that there is better trust & confidence between the police & London’s Black communities."


Chief Superintendent Roy Smith tweeted that he had spoken to Ms Butler over the phone and said "she has given me a very balanced account of the incident".

He wrote: "She was positive about one officer and gave feedback on others and the stop.

"We are listening to those concerns and Dawn is quite entitled to raise them."

Met Police said in a statement a car had been stopped about midday in Hackney.

They 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. 

"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."

It comes a month after former Olympic champion Linford Christie said two of his athletes were detained in handcuffs outside their home.

Commonwealth gold medallist sprinter Bianca Williams and her partner Portuguese sprinter partner Ricardo dos Santos had been driving home from race training when they were pulled over by cops and handcuffed in front of their three-month-old baby.

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