After witnessing the arrest of two innocent Black athletes over the weekend, Chrissie Hynde is calling out the London police for racial profiling and not focusing on a more troubling issue in her neighborhood — gang activity.
Bianca Williams and her partner, Ricardo dos Santos, were the two individuals Hynde was referring to. The couple, who are both trained by former Olympic champion Linford Christie, was reportedly on their way home with their three-month-old baby. They were stopped, arrested but eventually let go. Their arrest is the latest in a continuing series of incidents showing police stopping Black people in London.
The Pretenders‘ singer recounted the incident in a letter to The Guardian:
“On Saturday I saw an incident that 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. No prizes given for guessing that the couple were black.
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 were eventually let go.”
Hynde pointed out that in London neighborhood there has been “a surge of violence in this area over the past five years” including a stabbing and a series of robberies.
“Nobody will press charges against local gangs for fear of the inevitable payback,” she wrote.
And with the arrest of Williams and dos Santos, Hynde is fed up with the police’s failure to stop the gangs and protect families in the area.
“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. Can the police get their house in order and start patrolling the gangs, and leave parents to do their shopping?” Hynde ended her letter.