Ex-Olympic sprinter fears for BLM momentum in wake of Williams’ stop-and-search

Former Olympic sprinter Chris Lambert fears the momentum created by the Black Lives Matter movement is in danger of stalling before meaningful change can be achieved.

Lambert spoke out after Team GB athlete Bianca Williams was caught up in a stop-and-search by police which she claims had her fearing for her life.

Williams, 26, was returning from training with her partner – also a professional athlete – and three-month old son when their car was stopped in London.

The pair, who were handcuffed, accused the Metropolitan Police of racial profiling and acting violently towards them in an episode caught on film.

"We didn't want to get out of the car because of how their behaviour was,” said Williams. “They had batons ready. It is very scary. You worry about your life when the police are acting that way.”

British Athletics released a statement acknowledging the “hugely distressing footage” and promising to provide “any support required”.

The incident was a reminder to former European under-23 sprint champion Lambert that for all the take-a-knee symbolic support for BLM across the world of sport, little has changed.

“It is a month since the Trafalgar Square protest took place that I went to,” he said. “There's been a ton of energy and a lot of desire, but the direction is lacking.

“That’s not a criticism, it’s just that as soon as you raise these protests it becomes something people try to circumnavigate or sidestep.

“The narrative changes to statues, then to ‘well, you know, kneeling is a gesture, I don’t want to kneel’.

“Then it becomes All Lives Matter, the momentum gets taken out and the voice for change returns to the minorities.

“What legislation has been introduced, what laws have been changed, what real serious social level conversation has actually happened? None."

Lambert continued: “Unless we can get people like the Met Police commissioner (Cressida Dick) to engage on this topic nothing is going to change.

"But so far her response to this is her response to everything else, which is ‘I don’t believe the Force is racist’.

“No-one is saying 'you’ve got x amount of police officers out there and they’re all racist'. No-one is saying that.

“But look at the case of Bianca and her partner. The police have stopped a man because he’s driving a black Mercedes and he fits the profile of someone they don’t think can be driving that car without arising suspicion.

“That’s just entirely wrong and if you can’t see that that deserves to be talked about, we’re not going to get anywhere.”

In the wake of the incident involving Williams, a police statement said: "Officers from the Directorate of Professional Standards have reviewed both footage from social media, and the body-worn video of the officers, and are satisfied that there is no concern around the officers' conduct."

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