In another case of police overreach without any apparent consequences, a Texas woman was pulled over at gunpoint and then handcuffed in front of four terrified children riding with her.
Kametra Barbour, a black female, was driving down a highway in Forney, Texas, having taken four children who range in age from 6 to 10 years old on a shopping trip when she was pulled over by Forney police. Videotape captures police shouting at her and her other passengers to stick their hands out the windows. Barbour was then ordered out of the car and told to place her hands behind her head and walk backwards towards the cops.
Officer: “Put your hands on your head. Right here. Come on back.”
Barbour: “What is wrong? My kids!”
Officer: “How old are they?”
Barbour: “They’re six and eight and ten, nine. What are we doing?”
Officer: “Hold on a second, okay?”
Barbour: “What is going on? Oh my God, you will terrify my children.”
Officer: “We got a complaint of a vehicle matching your description and your license plate, waving a gun out the window.”
So, does that sound like a reasonable excuse to pull over Barbour at gunpoint, and eventually handcuffing her?
Well, sure, except for a few problems…
The police received a 911 call with a very clear description of another vehicle speeding down the highway, with the driver brandishing a gun out the window.
911 Caller: “It is going to be a beige or tan-colored Toyota occupied by four black males.”
Problem #1: Barbour was driving a red Nissan Maxima. How would the cops confuse a red Nissan with a brownish Toyota? And why would they not immediately recognize their mistake before it got to the point where they ordered Barbour out of the car at gunpoint and actually handcuffed her?
Well, according to the police, Barbour apparently took the same exit that the four black men in the Toyota took.
“The complainant that called in said that vehicle took that exit,” said Forney Police Detective Michael Clay.
Problem #2: Considering all of the cars that take a particular exit at a particular time, is that a valid excuse?
The 911 call stated that it was four black males who were in the suspected car. Apparently the cops singled out Barbour’s race over her gender when they pulled her over.
Problem #3: Why did the cops order Barbour to walk backwards to them with her hands behind her head, and why was she handcuffed? By now, the cops know that the car AND the driver does not match the description given, so why did it get to this point?
And in a bit of irony, Barbour’s six-year-old son Ryan can be seen in the video getting out of the car with his hands up, very similar to the “Hands up, don’t shoot” refrain used by thousands of protesters in Ferguson, Missouri after the death of Michael Brown at the hands of officer Darren Wilson. This incident happened on the same day as Brown’s shooting death, just hours afterwards, though it is doubtful that the news of Brown was widespread enough to have reached the majority of Texas citizens by that point.
Thankfully, before the boy exited the car, the little light bulb inside the heads of these policemen had started to glow, and it dawned on them that perhaps a red Nissan Maxima driven by a woman was in fact not a beige or tan Toyota with 4 black males inside…
Officer 1: “Do they look young to you?”
Officer 2: “They do to me.”
Officer 1: “Huh?”
Officer 2: “They do to me.”
Officer 1: “Yep, they’re young.”
Officer 1: [To other officers] “Gun down, gun down, gun down.”
Officer 1: [As the child exits the vehicle] “Come on back here, son. Come on back here, you’re alright.”
And then they tried to calm the nerves of all of the kids…
Officer: “Y’all okay?”
Child: “I’m scared.”
Officer: “It’s okay.”
Child: “Are we going to jail?”
Officer: “No. No one is going to jail.”
Child: [Scream, crying]
Officer: “Hey, stop crying. It’s okay. It’s okay. Everything’s fine now.”
“Are we going to jail?”
Unfortunately, that’s a legitimate question to ask nowadays by law-abiding blacks when they are pulled over by white cops.
Here is Part One of the encounter between Barbour and Forney police:
And Part Two:
Watch the local news report from WFAA 8 and tell us your thoughts. Should this law-abiding mother have been pulled over and handcuffed?
The cops did end up apologizing to Barbour for their mistake:
In a statement released Sunday, the Forney Police Department said officers had been pursuing a vehicle whose passengers were seen waving a gun from the windows. A 911 caller reportedly confused Barbour’s car with the other vehicle, the statement went on to say, which explains why police stopped the law-abiding motorist with their firearms drawn.Barbour took to Facebook last week to say she still was shaken by the incident. “We went from having a good old time shopping in the store and enjoying each other … to this horrible interactions (sic) with the police,” she wrote. But she added that she hoped the children would come away with a valuable lesson about mistakes — and how “your life can change in a matter of seconds.”
“You must not be bitter or angry just try to stay calm in a situation like this,” she wrote.
H/T: Think Progress