Shropshire Star

Five Met officers deny gross misconduct over Bianca Williams stop-and-search

The British sprinter and her Portuguese athlete partner were stopped on July 4 2020 in west London.

Metropolitan Police

Five Metropolitan Police officers have denied gross misconduct over the stop-and-search of athletes Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo Dos Santos.

He was driving a Mercedes through west London, with their then three-month old baby in the car, on July 4 2020 when they were stopped by police.

The couple, who are black, were handcuffed and later Ms Williams, a gold medallist in the 4x100m relays at both the 2018 European and Commonwealth Games, accused the police of having racially profiled them.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog previously said officers had followed the couple as they drove through Maida Vale before stopping and searching them for weapons, and Mr Dos Santos for drugs.

Nothing was found.

On Monday, five officers appeared at a police misconduct hearing in south east London.

Great Britain’s Bianca Williams (Martin Rickett/PA)
Great Britain’s Bianca Williams (Martin Rickett/PA)

Disciplinary panel chairman Chew Yin Jones asked each of them: “Do you accept or deny that your behaviour on July 4 2020 amounted to gross misconduct?”

Each of the officers replied with the word “deny”.

They could be sacked if gross misconduct is proven.

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.

Acting Sergeant Rachel Simpson and Pcs Allan Casey, Jonathan Clapham, Michael Bond and Sam Franks all face allegations that they breached police standards over equality and diversity during the stop-and-search.

Acting Sgt Simpson and Pcs Clapham, Bond and Franks also face allegations that 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 also breached professional behaviour standards.

Footage of the search was later widely shared on social media, and both Ms Williams, 29, andr Mr Dos Santos, 28, who is a Portuguese 400m sprinter who competed at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, have been critical of how they were treated.

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