The racist cops who stopped international athletes Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos have been sacked – but not for their racism. Meanwhile, someone has set up a crowdfunding page for the sacked racist cops – with ex-cops supporting it openly on X. Yet the UK is not a racist, colonialist endeavour – is it?
If it walks like a racist cop…
As the Mirror reported:
Mr dos Santos, 28, was stopped along with his partner and fellow Team GB star Ms Williams, 29, in their Mercedes with their three-month baby son outside their home in Maida Vale, West London, on July 4, 2020.
A police disciplinary panel found the officers’ claims of smelling marijuana when they stopped the vehicle were made-up and the pair were dismissed for gross misconduct. Three other officers involved in the arrest, which saw the couple handcuffed and searched for drugs and weapons, were cleared of any wrongdoing.
So, in case you were in any doubt:
- Met police officers stopped dos Santos and Williams – because they were Black.
- They lied about smelling weed – because dos Santos and Williams were Black.
- Metropolitan Police officers cuffed them for 45 minutes – because they were Black.
If it walks like a racist cop… etc, etc – as dos Santos himself pointed out on Good Morning Britain (GMB):
'Its a stereotype that they have that every black person smokes.'
Two Metropolitan Police officers have been sacked after being found guilty of gross misconduct over the stop and search of two black athletes. Olympian Ricardo dos Santos and Team GB's Bianca Williams were… pic.twitter.com/Q1LS7pQTtM
— Good Morning Britain (@GMB) October 26, 2023
Yet somehow, the police disciplinary panel concluded that racism was not a factor in the cops’ treatment of dos Santos and Williams – despite sacking them.
Fellow racists, however, thought these cops were harshly treated.
A double whammy: racism AND misogynoir all in one X post
Someone has set up a crowdfunder for the poor, white, filth. It pleads poverty and ‘think of the children’. But maybe if the sacked cops had thought of their children, they might not have been racist pigs in the first place.
Ex-cops (but likely current racists) openly admitted to donating to the crowdfunder on X:
Folks out with team of friends a couple have two MET officers in their family; we discussed the amateur dramatics of Bianca Williams & her partner Santos who fitted MET officers up by fleeing when they should have stopped; all 7 of us are making donation to the Appeal tomorrow👍 pic.twitter.com/JZGvBTn24Q
— Norman Brennan (@NormanBrennan) October 26, 2023
However, aside from cementing the idea that the Met Police is a racist old boys club, this dinosaur branding Williams’ distress as “amateur dramatics” is also misogynoir in action.
Back in July, Met cops arrested a Black woman with her child for dodging a bus fare – when she actually hadn’t. When the woman rightly challenged the cops, they escalated the situation. Right-wing racists at the time blamed the Black woman for her arrest because she ‘didn’t go quietly’ – much like the ex-cop labelling Williams’ response as “amateur dramatics”. However, as one X user pointed out in July, these:
responses of ‘she should have stopped,’ ‘just cooperated,’ ‘abusive’ are… unsurprising. Those responses come from those who, from a young age, have not witnessed their loved ones manhandled without dignity, whose body does not stiffen in fear of being accused because of what their skin colour represents to others, who are not adultified… as children, who have to ensure they print a receipt for a bottle of milk to show to a uniformed person in the supermarket…
Classism: doubling-down on the racism
Of course, the bigger point here is that the institutionally racist Met Police stops, searches, cuffs, and abuses Black people day in, day out – because they are Black. Yet cops rarely face any consequences for this. It points to the classism that exists within racist, colonialist, UK society. If you’re poor and Black, then you have to suck it up when the cops are abusive and violent towards you. However, if you’re an Olympic athlete – then you have access to recourse.
That’s not to dismiss the trauma cops inflicted on dos Santos, Williams, and their child – and the trauma that will stay with them. It’s to point out that this kind of outcome – where cops are held to account – is a rarity:
Good that the officers were found guilty of gross misconduct and sacked.
However, its shameful that the Met still won't admit, that institutional racism plagues its treatment of Black adults AND children in London.https://t.co/lj5aHETkKY
— Amanda Onwuemene (@Amanda_Spoke) October 25, 2023
As I previously wrote for the Canary, the child of the Black woman who cops abused over her bus fare will live with that experience for the rest of his life, likely with no support dealing with it:
the saddest part of this story is that the young boy was witness to cops’ treatment of his mother – and with institutional change unlikely, society will allow this cycle to repeat itself throughout his life also. If this is how police treat Black adults, how are young Black children supposed to feel safe around them? This child witnessed police brutalising his mother – and then, days later, it was revealed another Black man has died after contact with cops, also in Croydon.
Further to that, executive director of campaign group StopWatch Habib Kadiri told the Voice:
StopWatch is disappointed that the intimidatory tactics of the officers who stopped Ricardo and Bianca were not fully recognised in the panel’s decision.
Although two of the officers have been found guilty of gross misconduct, the entire unit has been let off the hook for discriminatory behaviour obvious to any Black person who has been stopped in a vehicle in London.
We fear that police officers will feel emboldened to continue to perform vehicle stops in an overtly aggressive manner, especially towards Black people, many of whom know that Driving While Black carries a heightened risk of harassment and abuse from the Met.
No, the UK’s not racist. Not at all.
So, it seems that not only did the cops in the dos Santos and Williams case get away with their racism, but the Met will have learned nothing from these events. Meanwhile, racist ex-cops cry on X while others donate thousands to a cop crowdfunder. As one person pointed out:
The commitment to show compassion to lying racist Police, by certain demographics who claim the UK is not raaaayciss. Always showing their whole ass. 💀 https://t.co/LoSuUStC9d
— DECLAN JOLLOF 🍚 (@studiopixie) October 26, 2023
Black people should not have to tolerate this any more. Unfortunately, as the dos Santos and Williams case has shown, and continues to show, nothing is changing any time soon. The Met is a mirror of UK society – where systemic and institutional racism dominates, while white people claim otherwise.
Featured image via Reuters – YouTube
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