Black sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos vows to take legal action against the Met

Ricardo Dos Santos, 27, was stopped by police on the A40 in west London in the early hours of Sunday when officers said they believed he was using his phone while driving.

A Portuguese sprinter today said he no longer felt safe driving in London and vowed to take legal action against the Met police after he was pulled over by “seven” armed officers, two years after a stop and search for “racial profiling “.

Ricardo Dos Santos, 27, was stopped by police on the A40 in west London in the early hours of Sunday when officers said they believed he was using his phone while driving.

He posted three clips of the stop on Twitter, including one of an officer withdrawing his extendable baton, and said seven armed police had stopped his £57,000 Tesla.

In 2020, he and his girlfriend, Team GB athlete Bianca Williams, were arrested by the Met while traveling with their baby in Maida Vale.

In a series of television interviews this morning, Dos Santos said he believes the latest incident was a second example of racial profiling.

“If there’s a reason for it, of course, go for it, but to suspect that somebody was on the phone … I think they saw me, a colored person in the car, and it was, “A see what he does,” he told Good Morning Britain.

Ricardo Dos Santos, 27, was stopped by police on the A40 in west London in the early hours of Sunday when officers said they believed he was using his phone while driving.

He posted three clips of the stop on Twitter, including one of an officer withdrawing his extendable baton, and said seven armed police had stopped his £57,000 Tesla.

He posted three clips of the stop on Twitter, including one of an officer withdrawing his extendable baton, and said seven armed police had stopped his £57,000 Tesla.

The athlete added that

The athlete added that “nothing had changed” two years after he was arrested with his partner, Bianca Williams (pictured), and their son.

How Mr. Dos Santos and Bianca Williams were arrested two years ago while riding in a car with their baby

Dos Santos’ latest interaction with police comes just two years after the Olympian and his partner, British athlete Bianca Williams, were stopped while driving with their baby in Maida Vale, west London.

The couple accused the force of “racially profiling” them after they were handcuffed and separated from their baby in images widely shared on social media.

A serving police sergeant and four police officers are facing serious misconduct disciplinary hearings over the 2020 incident, in which the couple were handcuffed and their baby’s details stored on a police database.

Police officers at the scene of a stop and search in Lanhill Road, Maida Vale, west London, in July 2020

Police officers at the scene of a stop and search in Lanhill Road, Maida Vale, west London, in July 2020

Asked by host Rob Rinder if he would take further action, the athlete replied: “We will.”

“We’ve thought about it because we think it’s more of a harassment thing now because it’s not just happened once since 2020, this is now the second time I’ve been arrested since 2020 and several times before that.

“For me, I’m very careful with what I do and every time I see a police car, especially late at night. In the back of my mind I’m always thinking… ”Will they stop me?” and it’s honestly very scary.’

Dos Santos revealed that he sold his previous cars to be “less of a target”.

“I’m not putting myself in a position to be stopped,” he said. “I sold the previous cars I had to buy this one because I wanted to stand out a lot less, but then again, it’s not the car.

“I sold the BMW and the Mercedes we had to get a Tesla, because it’s a car you see every day. It’s not a car you associate with anything.’

Asked on BBC Breakfast how safe he felt driving around London after the incident, he said: “Honestly, no. I don’t feel safe at all.

“The first thing I said to myself when I saw the car was, ‘Is it going to happen?’ “

“And every time I see a police car when I’m driving I think, ‘Is it going to happen this time?’ Will it happen this time? When will it happen again?”

It comes two years after the Olympian and his partner, British athlete Bianca Williams, were stopped while driving with their baby in Maida Vale, west London, and accused the force of racially profiling them.

A serving police sergeant and four police officers are facing serious misconduct disciplinary hearings over the 2020 incident, in which the couple were handcuffed and their baby’s details stored on a police database.

And the Independent Office for Policing Conduct (IOPC) said yesterday it was assessing the information available after receiving a referral from the Met during this weekend’s standoff.

A spokesman said: “We are aware of this matter and the images posted on social media over the weekend, and a referral has been received from the Met’s Professional Standards Directorate. We will assess the information to take a informed decision about the level of our involvement.’

Sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos said seven armed police stopped him for the second time on his way home to London.

Mr Dos Santos responded to the Met's statement:

Mr Dos Santos responded to the Met’s statement: “Hmm, yes, just showing part because the rest will go with my lawyer. It also doesn’t talk about why I took a little longer to stop.’

A police car pulls up in front of Mr Dos Santos as he drives into London on Sunday morning

A police car pulls up in front of Mr Dos Santos as he drives into London on Sunday morning

Dos Santos told the BBC that her phone had been between her thighs as she accused the force of “over-policing”.

The Met said extra reinforcements had been called because the car had not stopped, but Dos Santos claimed he did not feel safe to stop, so he continued to drive for five minutes until a suitable spot was found .

“I missed the exit turn and felt there was nowhere safe enough to pull over because the passage is quite dark, so I took the next exit … and pulled over on the next available street. I went I parked and waited for them to come to me,” he said.

‘For my safety and based on my previous incidents with them [police]I thought the best place to stop was somewhere lighted and with the possibility of witnesses.’

He told Radio 5 Live he felt nothing had changed since he was stopped two years ago, and feared one of the officers was planning to smash his car window in frustration.

The athlete, who competed in the 400m race at the Tokyo Olympics last year, also revealed it was the third time police had stopped him while driving in two years.

In response to Sunday’s incident, the Met confirmed the stop took place because they were “concerned the driver may be using a mobile phone at the wheel”. In the photo, image captured by Mr. Dos Santos

He tweeted after the stop: “Not surprised I have to go through this again. On my way home last night seven armed Met Police officers stopped me because they thought I was on my phone. A request of them, I stopped when it was safe to do so.

“After I stopped, two officers ran to either side of the car, one, with a closed fist, banged on my window and tried to open the car door.

“Not knowing how to use a Tesla handle, he pulled out his baton in frustration ready to break the glass.

“Many that two years later nothing has changed, but they still manage to get past the police.”

A Met spokesman said the incident had been registered as a public complaint and the force was awaiting a response from the IOPC.

Dos Santos said he would not have direct contact with the Met, but would leave that to his lawyer.

Dos Santos and Ms Williams pictured during an interview with the BBC after the first incident in Maida Vale, west London, on July 4, 2020.

Dos Santos and Ms Williams pictured during an interview with the BBC after the first incident in Maida Vale, west London, on July 4, 2020.

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