Police ‘smelled cannabis’ during stop and search of Ricardo Dos Santos and Bianca Williams | UK News

A police officer said he thought he could smell cannabis coming from the car of sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos and his partner Team GB athlete Bianca Williams, a misconduct hearing has heard. 

The top athletes believe they were racially profiled during a “disturbing” stop and search incident as they drove to their home in West London on July 4, 2020.

Five Metropolitan Police officers have denied accusations of gross misconduct.

PC Allan Casey told a colleague “there’s certainly a whiff of something” during the encounter.

The couple, who were travelling with their then three-month-old boy, were handcuffed for 45 minutes, and searched for drugs and weapons, but nothing was found.

The disciplinary hearing was also shown footage of PC Casey “walking the route” the couple had driven to check nothing had been discarded from the car, but again, nothing was found.

The Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) watchdog, which the misconduct case has been brought on behalf of, alleges some of the officers “lied” in saying there was a smell of cannabis when they stopped the car, the hearing was previously told.

PC Casey also told the hearing he didn’t think any driving offences could be proved against Mr Dos Santos.

Ricardo Dos Santos outside Palestra House, central London, where he has given evidence to the gross misconduct hearing of five Metropolitan Police officers
Ricardo Santos outside court

Bianca Williams outside Palestra House,

Mr Dos Santos has previously told the hearing he feared for his family’s safety during the encounter.

Dashcam footage showed officers pulling Mr Dos Santos from the driver’s seat and taking him to the roadside where he was handcuffed.

A tearful Ms Williams can then be heard telling police: “My son is in the car – I need to look after him.”

Moments later she too is handcuffed, as one of the officers suggested the couple had “antagonised” the police and “may have something to hide”.

At one point in the footage, the infant can be heard crying as an officer leaned into the back of the car to “check around the baby seat” before Ms Williams is allowed to collect her son.

Bianca Williams police
Police bodycam footage of the incident

Ricardo Dos Santos during stop and search, July 4, 2020

29-year-old Ms Williams is a gold medallist in the 4x100m relays at the 2018 European Championships and Commonwealth Games.

28-year-old Mr Dos Santos competed in the 400m sprint at the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.

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Acting Sgt Rachel Simpson and PCs Allan Casey, Jonathan Clapham, Michael Bond and Sam Franks all face allegations that they breached police standards regarding equality and diversity during the stop and search.

Acting Sgt Simpson and PCs Clapham, Bond and Franks are accused of breaching standards over the use of force and respect.

PCs Casey, Clapham, Bond and Franks also face allegations over the accuracy of their account of the stop.

Read more:
Sprinter ‘feared’ for family during police stop and search
Bianca Williams tears up as she recounts police stop and search

They have said they believed the car was being driven suspiciously and have denied any wrongdoing.

The five police officers involved could be sacked if gross misconduct is established.

The six-week hearing continues.