Ricardo Dos Santos: Met Police referred to IOPC after black Olympian pulled over by seven armed police

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Five police officers are already being investigated for “gross misconduct” for handcuffing the Portuguese sprinter and his partner, Team GB star Bianca Williams, during a stop and search in July 2020.

The Met Police has referred itself to the police watchdog after seven armed officers were used to pull over Olympic sprinter Ricardo dos Santos in west London.

This was the second time the Portuguese athlete has been stopped in just over two years with no action taken, and the second case to be referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.

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The couple’s then three-month-old son Zuri-Li was in the car at the time, however no weapons or drugs were found and the couple were released.

Ricardo Dos Santos and partner Bianca Williams were stopped and searched in July 2020. Photo: GettyRicardo Dos Santos and partner Bianca Williams were stopped and searched in July 2020. Photo: Getty
Ricardo Dos Santos and partner Bianca Williams were stopped and searched in July 2020. Photo: Getty | Getty Images

After the latest incident, on Sunday morning, in Royal Oak, London, Mr Dos Santos said: “Not surprised I had to go through this again.

“Annoyed that two years down nothing has changed but they still manage to over police.”

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The sprinter, who raced at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics but lives in London with Ms Williams, was driving along the A40 at 4am on Sunday (14 August) when police indicated for him to pull over.

A police car pulls in front of Ricardo Dos Santos on the A40, west London. Credit: Ricardo Dos SantosA police car pulls in front of Ricardo Dos Santos on the A40, west London. Credit: Ricardo Dos Santos
A police car pulls in front of Ricardo Dos Santos on the A40, west London. Credit: Ricardo Dos Santos | Ricardo Dos Santos

“Whilst driving home last night seven armed Met Police officers stopped me because they thought I was on my phone whilst driving,” Mr Dos Santos wrote on Twitter.

“At their request I pulled over when safe to do so.”

Mr Dos Santos stopped in Orsett Terrace, just off the three-lane A road, and footage shows an armed office rap on the window of his Tesla and then draw his police baton.

“After I stopped two officers ran towards either side of the car, one fist clenched banged on my window and tried opening the car door,” he said.

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“Not knowing how to use a Tesla handle he took out his baton out of frustration ready to smash the glass,” Mr Dos Santos then claimed.

An armed police officer outside Ricardo dos Santos’ car. Credit: Ricardo dos SantosAn armed police officer outside Ricardo dos Santos’ car. Credit: Ricardo dos Santos
An armed police officer outside Ricardo dos Santos’ car. Credit: Ricardo dos Santos | Ricardo dos Santos

In the footage filmed from the car, the armed officer can be seen holding the baton outside the door.

Another video shows the armed units surrounding the vehicle.

The Met said in a statement: “We are aware of footage on social media showing part of a stop on a car.

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“At about 4am on Sunday, 14 August, armed officers were on routine patrol in a marked police vehicle.

“They saw a car travelling eastbound on the A40 Westway and were concerned the driver may be using a mobile phone at the wheel.

“The officers clearly indicated for the car to pull over but it failed to do so and they called for further assistance.

“The driver stopped about five minutes later in Orsett Terrace and the officers spoke to him about why they wanted to stop the vehicle.

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“Following the conversation the vehicle was allowed on its way.

“We have since contacted the driver via Twitter to invite him to contact us if he would like to discuss this matter further.”

Bianca Williams has competed at bot the Olympics and Commonwealth GamesBianca Williams has competed at bot the Olympics and Commonwealth Games
Bianca Williams has competed at bot the Olympics and Commonwealth Games | Getty Images for European Athlet

In July 2020, Met Police officers stopped Mr Dos Santos and his partner Ms Williams while driving through Maida Vale to their west London home.

Dos Santos was handcuffed and searched for weapons and drugs and Williams for weapons, while their three-month-old son was waiting in the car.

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None were found and the pair were released with no arrests made.

In April, five officers, an acting sergeant and four police constables, were sent to face disciplinary proceedings after the IOPC decided they have a case to answer for gross misconduct. If proven, the officers could be sacked from the Met.

Met Police officers involved in handcuffing elite athlete Bianca Williams are facing gross misconduct charges. Photo: GettyMet Police officers involved in handcuffing elite athlete Bianca Williams are facing gross misconduct charges. Photo: Getty
Met Police officers involved in handcuffing elite athlete Bianca Williams are facing gross misconduct charges. Photo: Getty | Getty Images

At the time, Williams said: "I hope this opens the door for the Met to start being more honest and reflective about the culture of racism which is undoubtedly still a reality within the organisation.

“A clear focus on the racism problem within the Met by the IOPC is long overdue.”

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Now the Met has referred itself to the police watchdog again.

Scotland Yard said in a statement: “In relation to a vehicle stop in Orsett Terrace on Sunday, 14 August, we have now recorded this matter as a public complaint.

“We have also referred it on a voluntary basis to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, recognising the public interest.

“We await their views on how they may wish to take this forward.”

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An IOPC spokesperson said: “We are aware of this matter and the footage posted on social media over the weekend and a referral has been received from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards.

“We will be assessing the available information in order to make an informed decision on the level of our involvement.”

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