Dawn Butler was stopped by the Met Police while driving in Hackney today, telling her followers on Twitter: ‘I recorded the whole incident’.
The Labour MP has not yet given further information about what happened, but said there would be ‘more details to follow’. The incident comes just one day after she described feeling terrified and mistrustful of calling the police in an opinion piece for Metro.co.uk.
In the article, she stated that she had ‘no faith’ in Met Commissioner Cressida Dick’s ability to tackle institutional racism within policing. She wrote: ‘Cressida Dick appears to be incapable of tackling this long-known problem, and incapable of showing solidarity with those people who suffer from it the most, so she should resign.
‘It is not something I call for easily. I know too that the word racist often scares people, but it does not mean every officer is racist – nor am I calling Cressida Dick racist.
‘It’s the Met Police organisation that is structurally racist and she is in charge of it. We need her to tackle it, not deny our lived experiences or make excuses.’
She added: ‘We desperately need to take action to stop the desensitisation of injustice towards African-Caribbean, Asian and minority ethnic people, and take real steps to make changes in the Met Police.’
Butler has so-far not accused the Met Police of racial profiling in her tweet about officers stopping her car in Hackney.
Her tweet has triggered an outpouring of support, with MP Diane Abbott among voices calling on the Met Police to change. She wrote online: ‘This is so unsurprising. When will the Metropolitan police give up on racial profiling? #BlackLivesMatter.’
MP David Lammy wrote: ‘Big hugs Dawn. Love and prayers’, while Rosie Duffield replied asking: ‘Hope you’re ok Dawn?’. Their words were followed by MP Claudia Webbe who simply said: ‘Solidarity Dawn.’
Chief Supt Roy Smith, Commander of the Basic Command Unit (BCU), later confirmed Butler had been stopped by officers and said he’d spoken with her on the phone.
He continued: ‘She has given me a very balanced account of the incident. She was positive about one officer and gave feedback on others and the stop. We are listening to those concerns and Dawn is quite entitled to raise them.’
A journalist at Channel 4 said Butler would appear on their news programme to discuss how she had been questioned by officers ‘searching for “gang and knife crime”‘.
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