I did not rise to athlete’s provocation, officer tells police misconduct hearing

A Metropolitan Police officer has told a misconduct hearing he did not rise to provocation by an athlete during a stop-and-search, insisting he treated him with “respect and courtesy”.

Olympic sprinter Ricardo Dos Santos, 28, and his partner and Team GB athlete Bianca Williams, 29, believe they were racially profiled during an encounter on July 4 2020 with five Metropolitan Police officers.

The police followed them as they drove to their west London home from training, with their baby son, then three months old, in the back seat of their Mercedes.

Pc Michael Bond, who is among five officers who could be sacked if gross misconduct is proven, said on Tuesday that he used a “very, very low” level of force on Mr Dos Santos.

The panel heard the officer used a “normal police hold” to place the athlete’s hands behind his back to allow handcuffing and then placed a hand on his shoulder to prevent him “thrashing” back.

Asked if race played any role in his decision to use force, Pc Bond said: “Absolutely not.”

Ricardo Dos Santos
Pc Bond said he used a ‘very, very low’ level of force on Mr Dos Santos, pictured (James Manning/PA)

The officer said: “I was very neutral. I was polite. I was calm, treated him with the respect and courtesy I would expect to be treated with.”

Asked to comment on Mr Dos Santos’ behaviour, he said: “Rude. Swore at me.

“He called all the officers racist c****. He made fun of how much he suspected we earned.”

“Did you rise to that provocation at all?” Pc Bond’s barrister asked.

“No,” he said.

Bianca Williams and Ricardo Dos Santos
Ricardo Dos Santos and Bianca Williams believe they were racially profiled (James Manning/PA)

The officer told the panel multiple times that he smelled cannabis during the stop and search and called suggestions that this was made up “very very untrue”.

“I would not lie,” he said.

Pc Bond said he acted in line with the code of ethics and standards of professional behaviour.

During cross-examination, the panel heard Pc Bond made a comment to another officer during the incident that “it’s a bit thin”.

He denied the suggestion that he said it because there was nothing by way of “reasonable grounds” or “reasonable suspicion” to justify the stop, search and detention of Mr Dos Santos.

Bianca Williams
Bianca Williams, 29, is a Team GB athlete (Lucy North/PA)

Acting Sgt Simpson and constables Clapham, Bond and Franks also face allegations that their actions amounted to a breach of professional behaviour standards in relation to the use of force.

They are said to have failed in relation to their levels of authority, respect and courtesy, as well as in their duties and responsibilities.

Pc Casey is also accused of breaching professional standards in the way he carried out his duties and responsibilities or gave orders and instructions.

It is also alleged that the honesty and integrity of Pcs Casey, Clapham, Bond and Franks breached professional behaviour standards.

The hearing continues on Thursday at 10am.

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