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London police apologize to sprinter for 'distress' in search

LONDON (AP) — London police apologized to British sprinter Bianca Williams on Wednesday after officers stopped and searched her car over the weekend. Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick told the British parliament that police had apologized for “the distress it has clearly caused her.”

Williams was a sprint relay gold medalist at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships. Dick said two reviews of the evidence within the police found no apparent misconduct during the search. She added that the Metropolitan Police had now voluntarily referred itself for another review by the Independent Office for Police Conduct, a regulator.

Williams and Ricardo dos Santos, a Portuguese sprinter, are both Black and were stopped in their Mercedes on Saturday afternoon while traveling with their 3-month-old son. Williams accused London police of racial profiling.

Both Williams and dos Santos were handcuffed during the search. Dick said that the use of handcuffs would be reviewed to see whether they were being used too often in such cases. Nothing was found in the search, which police said was carried out by officers patrolling the area in response to an increase in violence involving weapons.

The force also said the vehicle was seen driving suspiciously, including on the wrong side of the road, and that the driver sped off when asked to stop. But Williams rejected that account, and has said she is considering legal action.

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