Five London police officers face gross misconduct charges over stop and search of Bianca Williams and Ricardo Dos Santos
Five Metropolitan Police officers are to face gross misconduct proceedings over the stop and search of athletes Bianca Williams and Ricardo Dos Santos.
The couple were stopped in Maida Vale, west London on July 4 2020 while travelling with their baby in a car, and were both handcuffed and searched.
The officers will face a disciplinary panel that will decide whether allegations that they breached professional standards are proven, watchdog the Independent Office for Police Conduct said.
A sixth officer will attend a meeting with force management for alleged breaches that were assessed as misconduct.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said the incident showed the need for Cressida Dick’s replacement as Metropolitan Police commissioner to draw up a “more effective plan to tackle the serious cultural issues” within the force.
“This incident was understandably deeply distressing for Bianca Williams and Ricardo Dos Santos, and I, like many Londoners, was disturbed by the footage of what happened,” he said.
“I welcome the independent investigation by the IOPC and its findings.
“It is important there is no further delay and these officers now face gross misconduct proceedings as soon as possible.
“This case is yet another example of why it is vital that the next commissioner has a more effective plan to tackle the serious cultural issues within the Met Police and to regain the trust of Londoners.”
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Bas Javid, from the Met’s Directorate of Professionalism, apologised for the distress caused to the couple.
He said: “I acknowledge the Independent Office for Police Conduct’s (IOPC) direction in this case.
“We have co-operated fully with the IOPC’s investigation and, in accordance with their direction, are now arranging for an independently-led misconduct hearing to take place.
“I am sorry for the distress that this incident clearly caused Ms Williams and Mr Dos Santos.”