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Labour MP Dawn Butler 'Shocked' by 'Conspiracy Theories' Over Video Showing Her Stopped by Police

© AFP 2023 / ISABEL INFANTESLabour party shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler speaks at the launch of Labour's Race and Faith Manifesto in north London on November 26, 2019.
Labour party shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Dawn Butler speaks at the launch of Labour's Race and Faith Manifesto in north London on November 26, 2019.  - Sputnik International
Labour MP Dawn Butler, a strong critic of police stop-and-search tactics, filmed Metropolitan police officers stopping her and a friend while driving in east London on Sunday afternoon. Critics on social media have since accused Butler of doctoring the footage.

Labour MP Dawn Butler said that she was “shocked” by “conspiracy theories” she saw online over a video she recorded on her phone that showed her and a friend being stopped by police.

The former Shadow Equalities minister claims that she and her friend were victims of "racial profiling" after they were stopped by Metropolitan officers while driving through east London on a Sunday afternoon.

The officers said that they had been stopped as the vehicle they were driving in was linked to an address in North Yorkshire, but later discovered that the registration had been entered incorrectly.

Butler said that she was “angry and annoyed” by the incident, claiming that there is “institutional racism” with police that “needs to be taken out.”

​The Brent Council MP’s video footage of the incident was met with suspicion and anger online by some social media users claiming that she had doctored the video file.

Susan Hall, leader of the GLA Conservatives, said that she had written a letter to Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick, asking for the Body Worn Camera footage to be released. 

​There were also allegations that she had lied about the race of her friend who was driving the car, with some accounts claiming that he was white.

​When asked about this by Sky News, Butler said, "It just made me think of the length that people will go to excuse racism away or discrimination away or injustice away.

"It just shocked me. Why would I flip my camera? I pressed record and I was recording. I turned the camera when I had to record the police officer. There was no flipping of the camera."

“My friend is black and is quite insulted that someone was saying he was trying to… what is that about?” she went on. “I was a passenger, we got stopped, I am black, he is black, he drives a fairly nice car.”

Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer has faced pressure to publicly support Butler. 

On Monday, a day after the incident occurred, he tweeted that he had reached out to her to discuss the incident and to offer support.

​The Metropolitan Police Federation said that they would like to share the footage of the incident recorded by the officers.

“We are aware of video footage that is circulating on social media this evening following the stopping of a car in Hackney,” the federation, which represents rank and file officers, said. “Our colleagues want to be able to share their body worn video of the incident and as a federation we are calling for this to happen.”
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