• Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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UK police watchdog declines to investigate stopping of Black athlete Ricardo dos Santos

Portuguese 400m runner Ricardo dos Santos was stopped in the early hours of Aug.

Portugal’s Ricardo Dos Santos take part in the men’s 400m heats during the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo on August 1, 2021. (Photo by ANTONIN THUILLIER/AFP via Getty Images)

By: Melvin Samuel

London’s Metropolitan Police said on Thursday that Britain’s police watchdog had decided not to investigate an incident in which the car of a Black athlete was stopped in the capital earlier this month for the second time.

Portuguese 400m runner Ricardo dos Santos was stopped in the early hours of Aug. 14 by officers on a routine patrol who said they were concerned about a driver possibly using a phone at the wheel. Read full story

Dos Santos, who posted video clips of the incident on Twitter, criticised the police. The Met, who voluntarily referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), said they would instead hold their own investigation.

“The Independent Office for Police Conduct has decided it does not need to investigate a vehicle stop by Met officers,” the Met said in a statement.

“The IOPC have returned this complaint to the Met to investigate. This investigation will be led by the Directorate of Professional Standards.”

Five British police officers are facing a gross misconduct hearing after a 2020 incident in which dos Santos and British sprinter Bianca Williams were stopped, searched and handcuffed, raising questions over the use of force and racial profiling.

The IOPC is an independent body that handles and investigates complaints made against police in England and Wales. Authorities can refer the cases to the watchdog whether or not a complaint has been made.

(Reuters)

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