Ricardo Dos Santos: Black athlete ‘doesn’t feel safe’ driving

Ricardo Dos Santos: Black athlete ‘doesn’t feel safe’ driving

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Ricardo Dos Santos says he is scared to drive in London when footage emerges of him allegedly being racially profiled by the Metropolitan Police ‘again’.

The Portuguese sprinter revealed that he is always thinking ‘are they going to stop me?’ after the news that ‘seven armed agents’ arrested him in the early hours of Sunday.

After being pulled over several times in the past, he said he sold his BMW and Mercedes and bought a Tesla ‘to stand out less’, but added that it didn’t matter because ‘it’s not the car’.

The force has now been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct, but Dos Santos is considering taking legal action.

Five Met officials are currently facing a serious misconduct investigation over allegations they racially profiled Mr Dos Santos and his wife Bianca Williams, a Team GB sprinter, in July 2020.

Officers said they “thought Mr. Dos Santos was using a phone while behind the wheel” during the weekend incident.

But she said later “it proved her phone was between her thighs and she was just putting her fingers to her face.”

Police backup was requested as the 27-year-old continued to drive for 2.7 miles, saying he wanted to stop somewhere “safe and lit where he knew people would be around.”

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Editorial Use Only Mandatory Credit: Photo by Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock (13095790r) Ricardo dos Santos TV show 'Good Morning Britain', London, UK - 16 Aug 2022

Ricardo Dos Santos said he is considering taking legal action against the Met (Image: Ken McKay/ITV/Shutterstock)

Speaking to Good Morning Britain, Mr Dos Santos said: “As I pulled over, two officers approached from either side of the car.

‘An officer came to knock on the window and pulled out his baton, ready to break.

The other officer was much calmer and wanted to talk to me. I said ‘I’ll talk to you because you come as a human’.’

The broker went on to say that he is “all in favor of stopping and looking if there is a reason for it.”

‘But for a phone?’ he asked. “To stop someone on the phone and call seven officers?”

Confirming that he has spoken to a lawyer, he added: “We’ve thought about it.” [legal action] because now it’s more of a harassment thing.

“Not only has it happened once since 2020, this is now the second time I’ve been detained since 2020 and there have been multiple times before.”

Later in the interview, he said, “For me, I’m very cautious about what I do and whenever I see a police car late at night, I always think ‘Am I going to be arrested or am I going to be arrested? ” The truth is that it is very scary.

“It’s frustrating to be in that situation. I honestly thought “it’s over, it’s over for me. I haven’t done anything wrong, I’m not putting myself in a position to be stopped.”

Ricardo Dos Santos @RDSS400 After I pulled over, two officers ran to both sides of the car, a clenched fist hit my window and tried to open the car door.  Not knowing how to use a Tesla handle, he whipped out his cane in frustration ready to shatter glass.  3/2 11:20?  August 14, 2022 from Paddington, London

An official ‘had his baton ready to crush,’ said the athlete (Image: Twitter/Ricardo Dos Santos)

Ricardo Dos Santos, a sprinter, posted a series of tweets and videos in which he was detained and questioned by police on Saturday.  Credit: Twitter/Ricardo Dos Santos

It is not the first time that the Met has faced accusations of racial discrimination (Image: Twitter/Ricardo Dos Santos)

Dos Santos told BBC Breakfast that the officers’ behavior changed when they realized he had a camera in his car, but he did not specify how.

He said he would like police to “be aware of how people really feel” when conducting searches.

It comes after a Labor MP said “it’s like you can’t drive being black” after he was arrested in 2020.

Dawn Butler claimed that there was “no other reason” why the Met stopped her while driving through East London “other than the color of my skin”.

The force faced further accusations of racism this year after images surfaced showing a black man being stopped and searched “for wearing multiple layers of clothing despite the hot weather”.

Commenting on Mr Dos Santos’ case, a Met spokesman said: ‘We have now registered this matter as a public complaint.

“We have also voluntarily referred him to the Independent Office for Police Conduct in recognition of the public interest.”

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at webnews@metro.co.uk.

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