Labour MP accused police of racial profiling after being stopped in a car

Labour MP Dawn Butler has accused police of racially profiling her after she was stopped by officers while in a car.

The former shadow equalities secretary said she was pulled over by Metropolitan Police officers in Hackney, east London, on Sunday and had recorded a video of the incident.

The incident comes as police are under heightened scrutiny for the alleged racial profiling of black people.

The MP for Brent Central, in north-west London, told Sky News in an interview after the incident: "There is an institutional racism in the police, we know that, and it needs to be taken out. It is cancerous and it needs to be cut out of the police force and it's urgent.

"It is just tiring and exhausting and mentally draining.

"We're two black people in a car driving through Hackney and they thought they'll stop them."

The broadcaster reported that Ms Butler and her "black male friend" were pulled over while travelling in a "nice car" and that footage showed officers say they were searching the area because of "gang and knife crime".

During the video of the stop, Ms Butler tells the officers: "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 tells her: "I appreciate everything you say and I do apologise for wasting your time."

Scotland Yard is yet to respond to a request for comment.

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Britain's opposition Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn arrives as Britain's Labour Party's Women and Equalities Shadow Secretary Dawn Butler stands on the stage during a final general election campaign event in London, Britain, December 11, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Leader of the Labour Party Jeremy Corbyn reacts next to his wife Laura and Labour's Women and Equalities Shadow Secretary Dawn Butler at the Theatre Royal in London, Britain, November 24, 2019. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Wnsl Pr Shoot - Wembley National Stadium Limited PR Shoot 12/02/2007 - Wembley Stadium - 12/2/07 Chancellor Gordon Brown unveils the World Cup 2018 Feasibility Study at Wembley Stadium today. He was accompanied by: The Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport - Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Minister for Sport - the RT Hon Richard Caborn, MP for Brent South - Dawn Butler MP, the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Football Group - Alan Keen MP and three U17 England internationals - Moses Barnett (Arsenal), Rhys Murphy (Arsenal) and Jordan Spence (West Ham). The Chancellor arrived by tube into Wembley Park underground station this morning - one of the three stations that service the Stadium - all of which have been significantly upgraded during the Stadium's construction. Wembley Park, is situated at the end of Olympic Way, known to fans as Wembley Way and will be the main station for fans arriving into Wembley Stadium (a public transport destination) on match days. Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Alex Morton Livepic
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - APRIL 24: Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn (L) and Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler (R) attend unveiling of Millicent Fawcett statue in Parliament Square. The monument to the suffragist leader, created by Gillian Wearing OBE, is the first of a woman to stand in Parliament Square. The statue has been commissioned by the Mayor of London to commemorate the Centenary of the Representation of the People Act 1918 which granted the first British women the right to vote. April 24, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - APRIL 12: Dawn Butler attends the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on April 12, 2018 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Vivien Killilea/Getty Images for GLAAD)
LONDON,UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 09: Labour MP Dawn Butler, minister for Women and Equalities, visiting Mitchell Brook Primary School for a panel discussion on under achievement in Education on March 09, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Nicola Tree/Getty Images)
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - MARCH 4: Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (C), Dawn Butler MP (CL) and activist Bianca Jagger (CR) joined thousands of people including politicians, celebrities and activists marching from the Houses of Parliament to a rally in Trafalgar Square in London during annual March4Women to mark International Women's Day and 100 years since women in the UK first gained the right to vote. The event, organised by CARE International, aims to highlight inequality faced by women and girls around the world and campaign for gender equality and women's rights worldwide. March 4, 2018 in London, England. (Photo credit should read Wiktor Szymanowicz / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
Dawn Butler, Margaret Beckett, Angela Rayner, Diane Abbott. Female members of the shadow cabinet and Labour politicians wearing suffrage rosettes and banners stand outside the Houses of Parliament (Photo credit should read Matthew Chattle / Barcroft Media via Getty Images / Barcroft Media via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 29: British Actress Maxine Peake (L) and Shadow Minister for Diverse Communities Dawn Butler (R) look on as Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn delivers a campaign speech on leadership on April 29, 2017 in London, England. Britain is to go to the polls on June 8, after British Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
(left to right) Tanmanjeet Singn MP, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn and Shadow Women & Equalities Secretary Dawn Butler at a post-Queen's Speech rally in Westminster, London. PA Photo. Picture date: Thursday June 14, 2018. See PA story POLITICS Brexit. Photo credit should read: David Mirzoeff/PA Wire (Photo by David Mirzoeff/PA Images via Getty Images)
Dawn Butler MP, Shadow Women & Equalities Secretary, addresses Labour Party members and supporters during a rally in Parliament Square calling for a general election amid Parliamentary deadlock over Brexit and election of Boris Johnson as UKs Prime Minister by the members of the Conservative Party on 25 July, 2019 in London, England. (Photo by WIktor Szymanowicz/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is greeted on stage by Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler MP at Labour's National Women's Conference at the ACC in Liverpool, ahead of the party's annual conference. (Photo by Peter Byrne/PA Images via Getty Images)
General Secretary of Unite the Union Len McCluskey and shadow Minister for Women Dawn Butler, on stage during a live debate at the Labour Live event at White Hart Lane Recreation Ground, north London. (Photo by Rick Findler/PA Images via Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 08: (L-R) Liz McClarnon, DIVA Magazine Publisher Linda Riley, Jeremy Corbyn and Dawn Butler MP attend the 2018 Diva Awards at The Waldorf Hilton Hotel on June 8, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images for Diva Magazine)
BRISTOL, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 01: Labour MP, Dawn Butler has a selfie taken with a supporter after taking part in the party deputy leadership hustings at Ashton Gate Stadium on February 01, 2020 in Bristol, England. Five candidates are vying to become the new Labour deputy leader following the departure of Tom Watson who stood down in November last year. (Photo by Finnbarr Webster/Getty Images)
LEEDS, ENGLAND - JANUARY 25: Labour Deputy Leadership hopeful Dawn Butler (right) takes part in party deputy leadership hustings at the Royal Armouries on January 25, 2020 in Leeds, England. Five candidates are vying to become the new Labour deputy leader following the departure of Tom Watson who stood down in November last year. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
(left to right) Richard Burgon, Angela Rayner, Rosena Allin-Khan, Dawn Butler and Ian Murray before the deputy Labour leadership husting at the ACC Liverpool. (Photo by Danny Lawson/PA Images via Getty Images)

This week Ms Butler was named by Vogue magazine as one of the 25 most influential women shaping 2020 for her support of Black Lives Matter protests.

She described her backing of the anti-racism movement as having led to threats of attack on her office and staff having "drastically escalated".

After the stop, former shadow home secretary Diane Abbott said: "This is so unsurprising. When will the Metropolitan Police give up on racial profiling?"

Last month Great Britain sprinter Bianca Williams and her partner Ricardo dos Santos were pulled from their car and handcuffed in front of their three-month-old son.

Nothing was found in the search and the Met referred itself to the police watchdog while the force's commissioner Dame Cressida Dick was forced to apologise for the "distress" caused.

On Saturday, Ms Butler wrote that the commissioner appeared to be "incapable" of tackling institutional racism in the police and called for her resignation.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct launched an investigation into whether officers in England and Wales racially discriminate against ethnic minority people.

The latest official statistics for stop and search showed a disparity rate of 4.3 for all black, Asian and minority ethnic people and 9.7 for black people.

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