The Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde has condemned London police for alleged racial profiling of two black athletes which she has labelled as “aggressive”.
After witnessing the arrest of two Black athletes over the weekend, Chrissie Hynde has called out the police for racial profiling and not focusing on a more troubling issue in her North London neighbourhood.
The incident Hynde is referring to is Bianca Williams and her partner, Ricardo dos Santos, who are both athletes and trained by former Olympic champion Linford Christie. The couple were reportedly on their way home with their three-month-old baby when they were stopped and arrested before being released shortly after.
In a letter to The Guardian, Hynde wrote: “On Saturday I saw an incident that illustrates how out of touch the police in London have become. They pulled over a couple, made them step out of their car and were handcuffing them, surrounded by nine officers. The couple’s baby was left unattended in their car. No prizes given for guessing that the couple were black.
Adding: “The incident was disturbing and aggressive, and the police van remained parked there for over an hour. The couple were innocent of whatever charges they were suspected of and were eventually let go. “For years there has been no protection at all on the streets and now hordes of police are pulling over innocent citizens and causing real distress for no reason. Can the police get their house in order and start patrolling the gangs, and leave parents to do their shopping?”
The mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, who previously raised the issue with the Met, has said this on the incident: “I welcome the decision to refer the handling of this incident to the Independent Office for Police Conduct. Allegations of racial profiling are extremely serious and it’s right that it will now be independently investigated.”
The sensitive footage of the incident Hynde witnessed can be watched below.