Labour’s Dawn Butler has accused the police of racially profiling her after she was pulled over while driving in East London.
The MP for Brent Central filmed her heated confrontation in Hackney with two officers, who she claims demanded to know what was in the back of car.
After being left ‘irritated and angry’, she has branded the Metropolitan Police ‘institutionally racist’.
She said: ‘We were two black people in a car, driving through Hackney, and they thought they’ll stop us.
‘You can drive anywhere you want to. I mean we don’t have a police state that says you’re not allowed to drive from Brent to Hackney or from Chingford to Brent, you can drive anywhere you want.’
Ms Butler – who in 2015 became the third black woman to be elected an MP after Diane Abbott and Oona King – only yesterday called on Scotland Yard commissioner Cressida Dick to resign for failing to stamp out racism.
The MP for Brent Central filmed her heated confrontation in Hackney with two officers, who she claims demanded to know what was in the back of car
After being left ‘irritated and angry’, she has branded the Metropolitan Police ‘institutionally racist
Her footage shows a uniformed constable standing outside her car, while a female officer’s voice is heard off camera.
The MP says: ‘I’ve been doing a lot of work with the police on stop and search, and how the police are stop and searching, and actually the way you do it and the way you profile is wrong.
‘Because what you do is, you create an environment where you create animosity.
‘And it’s irritating because you cannot drive around on a Sunday afternoon whilst black because you’re going to be stopped by the police.’
Speaking to Sky News, she said: ‘The institution is racist. One of the other police officers came and said “I can’t see what’s in the back of your car”.
‘You don’t need to see what’s in the back of the car. Why do you need to see what’s in the back of the car? What’s that about?
‘So there is an institutional racism in the police, we know that, and it needs to be taken out. It’s cancerous and it needs to be cut out out of the police force. It’s urgent, it’s really urgent.’
The MP said: ‘I wasn’t going to go live with this at all, but because the other police officer inflamed the situation so much, I was getting irritated and angry at the way she was approaching me.
‘It’s such a bad way to treat people. It’s exhausting, and tiring and mentally draining.
‘This is a police service that is supposed to police everyone, and I understand there are issues that need to be dealt with.
‘But deal with it in an equitable way, don’t deal with in an unfair way, in a bias way or a racist way.’
Labour’s Dawn Butler has railed on social media after being pulled over by police in East London
A Met chief superintendent confirmed there had been a police stop and that the MP had expressed her ‘concerns’.
Chief Superintendent Roy Smith said: ‘I’ve just spoken with Dawn Butler by phone.
‘She has given me a very balanced account of the incident. She was positive about one officer and gave feedback on others & the stop.
‘We are listening to those concerns and Dawn is quite entitled to raise them.’
Kate Osamor MP, who sits alongside her on the Labour backbenches, replied: ‘Hope you’re ok?’
Ms Butler, who served as Jeremy Corbyn’s shadow minister for women and equalities, yesterday hit out at Metropolitan Police officers who rubbished the notion children should be invulnerable to arrest.
In a scathing rebuke, she tweeted: ‘The problem is you are arresting children going for a bike ride or going to the shops for a loaf of bread.
‘Not all African-Caribbean boys should be viewed as criminals! I should be surprised the police liked this but sadly I’m not.’
And in an article published yesterday, she called on Scotland Yard Commissioner Cressida Dick to resign for failing to stamp out ‘institutional racism’ within her ranks.
She wrote in Metro: ‘In case anyone doubts the experiences of people of colour, the statistics are stark.
‘The Met are four times more likely to use force on Black people. They have stopped and searched the equivalent of one in four young black men in London during lockdown.’
She added: ‘At this most pivotal time the commissioner thought it appropriate to say that “institutionally racist” is not a “useful way to describe” the force, which is not only unhelpful but offensive.
‘It is quite telling. 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.’
The Metropolitan Police said it is looking into the episode and Ms Butler could not be reached.