NEWS
09/08/2020 17:47 BST | Updated 09/08/2020 18:40 BST

Labour MP Dawn Butler Accuses Met Police Of Racial Profiling After Being Stopped By Officers

She was stopped by police while in a car driving through Hackney.

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Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused the Met Police of racial profiling

Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused the Metropolitan Police of racial profiling after she was stopped by officers. 

The MP for Brent Central – who was a member of Labour’s shadow cabinet until April – said she was stopped by police while driving through Hackney. 

She told The Guardian the officers said they had stopped Butler and her friend – who is also Black – because the car was registered to North Yorkshire.

Police later told her they had made a mistake and apologised, the MP said. 

Butler told Sky News she went public with the incident because of a second officer who “inflamed the situation”. 

“It is tiring and exhausting and mentally draining,” she said. “This is a police service that is supposed to police everyone. And I understand there are issues and they need to be dealt with. 

“But deal with them in an equitable way. Don’t deal with them in an unfair way and a biased way or a racist way. Deal with it properly and then we can all be on board with that.” 

In a video of the incident, Butler – who was Labour’s equalities secretary – tells the police: “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 in the video tells her: “I appreciate everything you say and I do apologise for wasting your time.”

Butler told Sky News there is “institutional racism” in the police. “We know that,” she said. “And it needs to be taken out. It is cancerous and it needs to be cut out of the police force. It’s urgent – it’s absolutely urgent.” 

She added: “I want to work with the police to get this right.” 

In a statement, the Metropolitan Police said officers had stopped a vehicle in Hackney around 12pm. 

“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,” the force said in a statement. 

“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.” 

They added: “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.”