Mom Talks About Forney Traffic Stop & Possible Lawsuit
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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) - It was what one family considered a “terrifying” mistake by police. On Tuesday, a North Texas mother spoke out about the traffic stop, captured on dash cam video, that she says left her children traumatized.
City leaders in Forney released a statement apologizing for the traffic stop along U.S. Highway 80 last month. But the family says they want change, and plan to file a lawsuit as early as this week as an incentive.
Forney police now admit Kametra Barbour did nothing wrong.
Dash cam video shows officers surrounded her burgundy sedan last month and ordered her out of the car at gunpoint — in front of her children.
On the video you can hear Barbour openly express worry about her children and an officer asking how old they are. “They’re 6 and 8 and 9,” she said. “What are we doing? Oh, my God! You’re terrifying my children.”
Barbour, a local executive, said her surprise at the traffic stop, quickly turned to terror.
“At that time I was just thinking over and over,” she said as her eyes filled with tears, “Lord, please don’t let them shoot me in front of my children.”
Officers at the scene told Barbour they were responding to a report of someone waving a gun out of a car window.
Shortly after stopping Barbour, the Forney Police Department received a 911-call transfer from Kaufman County dispatch. The caller said, “The car they hit the lights on was the right car, but they didn’t pull them over. I believe they may have gotten the wrong car back there.”
Officers were apparently looking for four black men in a tan or beige colored Toyota. Forney city leaders told CBS 11 News on Tuesday that their officers knew the vehicle descriptions didn’t match. But officials insisted that, at the time, they were following proper procedure.
During the Tuesday press conference her husband, Chris, her attorney and her pastor, Dr. Frederick Haynes, joined Kametra Barbour.
Addressing the Forney police Haynes said, “Your procedure needs to change! Because your procedure says ‘we don’t have four black men here, so any black body will do,’ and that’s an insult.”
The Barbour’s say their children are now having nightmares and are afraid of police, in spite of having been raised to respect those in uniform. Chris Barbour is a paramedic with Dallas Fire Rescue. The first responder told CBS 11 that his six-year-old son, seen on the dash cam video slowly approaching police with his hands up, is asking tough questions.
“He doesn’t understand the dynamics of race and racism,” Chris Barbour explained. “He sees everyone as his friend. But he doesn’t feel that way now.”
Kametra Barbour concurred with her husband saying, “My son, is, I can’t even explain the fear he has. He doesn’t want to stay in the house by himself. He doesn’t want to sleep by himself… just nervous.”
Community leaders told CBS 11 they think the Forney Police Department needs more diversity. There are no black officers in the department and leaders say those there need racial sensitivity training. City leaders, however, insist nothing about the Barbour traffic stop was racially motivated.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)
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