A man on Tuesday filed a racial profiling complaint with the Fairview Heights Police Department about the traffic stop of his 17-year-old son.
Orlando Ward Sr., the father of Orlando Ward Jr., also filed a complaint with the NAACP, alleging that his son was racially profiled and his vehicle was illegally searched.
Lt. Steve Evans of the Fairview Heights Police Department acknowledged that Ward filed a complaint and that his allegations were being investigated. Evans said he did not know how long the investigation would take.
Ward, who is an East St. Louis police detective, said his son was stopped about 3 a.m. Sunday on Illinois 159 by a Fairview Heights Police officer, who was joined by three others. Ward's son is black and he said the officers are white. In his complaint, he questioned whether there was probable cause for the stop.
The teen was given a curfew violation ticket and a warning for a rear registration light being out.
One of the officers included a canine officer who walked around the car with the police dog.
"My son was then told to take off his shoes and sit on the bumper of the police officers car ...Two officers searched the inside and outside of the vehicle," Ward said.
"Without probable cause, they cannot search his vehicle," Ward said. "And, he did not give them permission to search his car. My son is a good kid. I went to the police station to talk to the officer as a parent after I got three conflicting statements. Two officers told me my son was speeding -- one said 41 mph in a 35 mph, another said 42 mph in a 35 mph. and a third officer said he was not speeding. One officer said he had several lane violations. I asked to see a police report and was told there was none. I asked to see the video of the stop and was told I could not see it."
One officer said the chief told them to treat me like any other resident.
"I was not asking for any special favors because I am a member of law enforcement. I went there as a father. If my son was wrong, it's my job to straighten him out. It seems to me that this is a clear cut case of racial profiling."
"My son was not given a speeding ticket, only a warning for a rear registration light being out and a curfew violation ticket. We have to go to court on the curfew violation. We were wrong on that. We have to answer to that," Ward said.
"I am requesting a fair investigation of the officers involved although I was told that they did nothing wrong," Ward said.
Contact reporter Carolyn P. Smith at 239-2503.