Chrissie Hynde discusses witnessing “aggressive” police handling of Black athletes

Hynde says the incident "illustrates how out of touch the police in London have become"

The Pretenders singer Chrissie Hynde has shared her anger at witnessing the “disturbing and aggressive” police handling of two Black athletes in London.

Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos, both trained in athletics by Linford Christie, were driving home with their three-month baby when they were stopped and handcuffed by police on Saturday (July 4).

The incident was referred to the police watchdog by the Metropolitan Police on Monday (July 6) after two previous inquiries uncovered “no misconduct issues”. It attracted attention after being shared on social media by Hynde among many others.

Writing for The Guardian about the incident, Hynde recalling witnessing it first-hand and said she believes that Williams and dos Santos being stopped “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.

Greater Manchester Police
(Picture: Getty)

“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 eventually let go.”

Hynde continued: “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,” she wrote. Can the police get their house in order and start patrolling the gangs and leaving parents to do their shopping?”

London Mayor Sadiq Khan also responded to the situation, saying: “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.”