AceShowbiz - Chrissie Hynde has demanded change from London police after witnessing an incident in which two black athletes were aggressively handcuffed before they were released without charge.
Ricardo dos Santos and Bianca Williams, two British athletes trained by Olympic sprinting champion Linford Christie, were stopped, told to get out of their car and handcuffed before being released in Maida Vale, west London on Saturday (04Jul20), despite their three-month-old son being in the vehicle.
In a letter to The Guardian published Tuesday, Hynde writes that she witnessed the "disturbing" incident - which she sees as evidence of London's Metropolitan Police being woefully "out of touch."
"On Saturday I saw an incident that illustrates how out of touch the police in London have become," her letter reads. "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."
Metropolitan Police officials deny any misconduct took place, but Christie complained on Twitter and The Pretenders rocker compares the incident unfavourably to their failure to tackle gangs in the area - demanding police change their approach to apprehend the real criminals.
After mentioning the stabbing of a friend's son, and a robbery on a local shop she witnessed but struggled to report due to being held on the phone, the musician called on officers to get their priorities right.
"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," she adds. "Can the police get their house in order and start patrolling the gangs, and leave parents to do their shopping?"