Two Met Police constables sacked after ‘lying about smelling cannabis’ during Bianca Williams stop and search

Two Metropolitan Police constables have been sacked after a disciplinary panel found their actions during a stop and search of black athletes Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams amounted to gross misconduct.

A misconduct panel concluded on Wednesday that Jonathan Clapham and Sam Franks lied about smelling cannabis during the stop and search of the athletes, 28 and 29, in Maida Vale, West London on 4 July 2020.

The couple, pulled over as they drove home from training with their baby son, who was three months old at the time, in the back seat of their Mercedes, had alleged they were racially profiled.

Chiew Yin Jones, chair of the misconduct hearing, said the officers had committed gross misconduct by breaching standards of professional behaviour in respect of honesty and integrity – though the panel found it not proven they had breached equality and diversity standards.

The Met officers were part of a territorial support group unit who were tasked with helping to cut priority crime such as gang and knife offences.

Five officers – acting police sergeant Rachel Simpson, PC Allan Casey, PC Jonathan Clapham, PC Michael Bond and PC Sam Franks – were accused of breaching police standards during the stop and search and all gave evidence over the course of the misconduct hearing in which they denied accusations of racism.

The panel heard the two officers followed Mr dos Santos in their police carrier because of the “appalling” and “suspicious” nature of his driving and were doing their duty when they conducted the stop and search.

Bianca Williams and Ricardo dos Santos at the misconduct hearing (Photo: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire)

The couple were handcuffed and searched on suspicion of having drugs and weapons after they were pulled over outside their property, but nothing was found.

Ms Williams is a relay athlete who competed for England at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, while Ricardo dos Santos is a sprinter who has represented Portugal at the Olympics.

Speaking outside the court, Mr dos Santos said the case had “highlighted what most black people are far too aware of – regardless of their background, they are nine times more likely to be stopped by the Met, and three times more likely to be handcuffed.”

He said Met officers had acted “dishonestly” in attempting to smear his character based on “racist stereotypes” after the hearing was shown footage of him mocking and swearing at the officers during the stop. He added: “If you can’t trust in the police to be honest, and accept when they’ve done bad, what hope is there? This case has taken a big toll on our family and our careers, but it’s crucial that those people who have a voice use it.”

PCs Casey and Bond and acting Sgt Simpson were found not to have breached any standards and all allegations against them were not proven.

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan said: “The findings of the hearing will anger and alarm many Londoners.

“It underlines the scale of challenge the Met’s new leadership face – and I will both support and hold the Met to account on delivering the urgent change needed.”

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