Sprinter said he was stopped for ‘driving while black’, misconduct hearing told

Ricardo Dos Santos was stopped and searched by the police in west London (PA)
Ricardo Dos Santos was stopped and searched by the police in west London (PA)

Sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos accused police officers of detaining him for “DWB, driving while black” during a stop and search, while his partner and Team GB athlete Bianca Williams insisted they had done nothing wrong, a police misconduct panel has heard.

Mr Dos Santos and Ms Williams, who are both international athletes, believe they were racially profiled during their July 4 2020 encounter with Metropolitan Police officers as they drove to their west London home from training with their then-three-month-old son in the back seat of their Mercedes.

The incident was recorded on body-worn cameras and footage was shown on Thursday at a six-week disciplinary hearing in south east London where five Metropolitan Police officers could be sacked if gross misconduct is proven.

During the stop and search Ms Williams, who is standing a short distance from her partner, told officers “I’m just frustrated”, “this is ridiculous” and “my son is three months old, we would not do stupid things”.

Acting Sergeant (A/PS) Rachel Simpson, Pc Allan Casey, Pc Jonathan Clapham, Pc Michael Bond and Pc Sam Franks deny all charges.

It is alleged the officers followed, pursued and stopped a car driven by a male, used force to restrain the driver and passenger, who were black, and detained them for a period of time.

Ms Williams and Mr Dos Santos were handcuffed and searched on suspicion of having drugs and weapons. Nothing was found.

At one point during the footage Mr Dos Santos insists he has not been evading the police but was driving down streets that local residents would be aware of.

An officer asks if he has previously been arrested and Mr Dos Santos responds it was “for the same thing, DWB” and the matter ended up in a fine.

He also tells the officers he is outside his house, urges them to check the licence plate of his cars and says: “I did not act suspicious, I’m coming home from training.”

He says he is not resisting the officers and they have made a mistake.

He swears that the officers at various points and says they are “racist”.

In opening the case which is brought on behalf of the director general of the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog, Karon Monaghan KC, previously said the treatment and detention of the couple who were “on the road for 45 minutes in full view of their neighbours was because they were black”.

The IOPC also alleges that some officers “lied” in saying there was a smell of cannabis when they stopped the car and handcuffed the couple.

During the footage Mr Dos Santos, who says his legs are “absolutely shattered” as he has just finished training, adds: “She is a GB professional athlete. I run for Portugal. All you lot are f*****. This is amazing. Welcome to my world.”

He stands to his feet and implores the officers to give him a drug test as he questions why he has been stopped.

Mr Dos Santos also tells the police: “Do a drug roadside drugs test. Do it.

“Why would I have cannabis when I have a little boy in a car and I am a professional athlete, both of us are professional athletes. I want a drug test.”

One of the officers can be heard telling him “are you a role model as an athlete?”

Bianca Williams was stopped and searched by the police in west London (PA) (PA Archive)
Bianca Williams was stopped and searched by the police in west London (PA) (PA Archive)

Mr Dos Santos says the police are “racist b*******” and asks why they have stopped him.

Both Ms Williams, 29, a gold medallist in the 4x100m relays at the 2018 European and Commonwealth Games, and Mr Dos Santos, 28, who is a Portuguese 400m sprinter who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, reject any suggestion they would take or be involved with cannabis as this would end their sponsorship deals.

The Met officers were part of a territorial support group unit who were tasked with helping to cut priority crime such as gang and knife offences.

Ms Monaghan previously told the hearing that Ms Williams showed “distress” at her contact with the officers and Mr Dos Santos had been stopped and searched by police since he was a teenager.

Another scene also shows Ms Williams referring to her partner and telling that “it is all the time, he gets it all the time”.

An female officer says they were stopped because the way the car was being driven which appeared like “a deliberate attempt” to get away from the police in a district of London which has had problems with gangs and crime.

Ms Williams said that “if we wanted to get away from you, we would not have stopped here” outside their home.

The five officers all face allegations that they breached police standards over equality and diversity during the stop-and-search.

A/PS Simpson and Pcs Clapham, Bond and Franks also face allegations their actions amounted to a breach of professional behaviour standards in relation to the use of force.

They are said to have failed in relation to their levels of authority, respect and courtesy as well as in their duties and responsibilities.

Pc Casey is also accused of breaching professional standards in the way he carried out his duties and responsibilities or gave orders and instructions.

It is also alleged that the honesty and integrity of Pcs Casey, Clapham, Bond and Franks breached professional behaviour standards.

The hearing was adjourned to Monday at 10am.