Metropolitan Police chief Dame Cressida Dick said that officers issued an apology to the champion sprinter Bianca Williams after she and her partner Ricardo dos Santos a Portuguese 400m runner were stopped by police while driving in London and placed in handcuffs.
Commonwealth Games gold medallist Williams, 26, claimed officers racially profiled her during the traffic stop on Saturday in Maida Vale, west London, which saw the pair being separated from their three-month-old son.
Footage of the stop and search has been shared widely on social media.
The Met had said officers were patrolling the area in which Ms Williams was stopped because of an increase in youth violence.
But Ms Williams believes she and her partner were targeted because they are black and were driving a Mercedes.
Dame Cressida said: “My senior officer did say ‘I’m sorry’, and I say that too, and if there are lessons to be learnt from it we will learn them.
In a statement the Met said the decision to refer to the IOPC had been taken “due to the complaint being recorded and the significant public interest”.
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan told the BBC he was “pleased” that the Met had referred the case as “it’s really important that Londoners have trust and confidence in the police and the way the police are policed”.
“There are concerns about the how the police behaved so it’s right and proper that those concerns are looked into,” he said.
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