Wednesday, 12 Aug 2020

BBC News host horrified as Lord Woolley shares gut-wrenching story of racial abuse

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BBC News’ Emma Barnett was stunned into silence after hearing a heartbreaking and equally enraging story of racial profiling by the police from Lord Simon Woolley. Lord Woolley is the founder of Operation Black Vote, a non-profit organisation set up to tackle the black democratic deficit in the UK. While on BBC’S Radio 5 Live with Emma Barnett and Lord Woolley recounted the harrowing experience as the pair reflected on the recent Black Lives Matter protests around the world.

He concluded it was one of the key moments in his life that lead him to become a parliamentarian and fight inequalities.

Mr Woolley said: “I had moved to London and bought a house.

“I remember walking to the shop as my washing machine had broken down.

“A police car passing screeched to a halt, the officers jumped out and said where are you going.

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“I said I’m going to the laundrette, my washing machine is broken.

“They said to me well there has been a spate of burglaries around here so we are just checking.

“I replied I would be some burglar, wouldn’t I, stealing dirty washing.

“They then asked if I had any ID and I said yes and went to go into my house and the officer is behind me.”

Lord Woolley explained how the police officer attempted to invade his property before the pair erupted in a row.

He continued: “I said to him where are you going and he said I am coming with you.

“I said no, you are not this is my house.

“With that, he dragged me out of the house, dragged me by my feet, locked me to the fence, chained me to my own fence and then asked the neighbours does this man live here.”

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Lord Woolley also detailed his feelings at the time of the event and his reflection later on it.

He said: “The humiliation, you cannot imagine.

“It was a while ago now but that is part of the journey, this was in the 90s.

“It galvanised me to want to change our world and to change it in a positive way, to have people in leadership positions.”

“When I became a parliamentarian, a very proud moment for me, I gave a maiden speech.

“I said that I strongly believe that there is potential talent in every street.”

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