Former Oklahoma State University football player says he was racially profiled during police vehicle search at Oklahoma Panhandle
GOODWELL, Oklahoma (KFOR) – A former Oklahoma State University football player said he felt racially profiled on Saturday during a traffic stop that turned out vehicle search by a local police officer in the Oklahoma Panhandle.
The traffic stop took place in the town of Goodwell, Oklahoma. Former Oklahoma State defensive lineman Trace Clark was in a U-Haul heading to Los Angeles from Wichita to start a new job. He said the officer stopped beside him as he was driving before he applied the brakes, got behind him and turned on his lights. It was then that Clark decided to record.
“Am I detained?” Clark asked in one of the two videos he recorded during the traffic stop.
“At this point you are,” the officer told him.
“Why?” Clark asked.
“Because I said yes, okay?” The officer told him.
The two videos recorded by Clark during the traffic stop can be viewed below. This traffic stop turned into a vehicle search for Clark shortly after this part of the video above. The only problem is that Clark said he felt there was no reason for it, since he received a written warning for not keeping his lane. However, the officer began to ask several questions.
“Is there anything in the vehicle that I might be concerned about?” Like guns, bombs, hand grenades, terrorists, corpses? The officer asked.
“No.” Clark said.
“Marijuana?” the officer asked after asking if there was any drugs in his U-Haul.
“No.” Clark said.
“Methamphetamine? ” “No.”
“Fentanyl? ” “No.”
“Large sums of American money?” ” “No.”
The former baseball player said the officer initially pulled over next to his U-Haul as they were driving before stopping him. At this point, he felt he might have been profiled.
“The police car pulls into the left lane and stops behind the other car that had passed me and was at eye level or window level,” Clark said in an interview with the police. KFOR (speaking about the situation). “And then fell behind me and turned on the lights immediately.”
Clark added that he didn’t feel the interaction with the officer was too good from the start.
“And that’s when he started to question me about where I was from, where I was going. What did I do for work? Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
At this point, he texted his family where he was and started recording.
“I told them it looked like an officer had a problem with me,” Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
“Would you have a problem if I searched this vehicle?” Asked the officer.
“Yes,” Clark said.
“So you’re telling me no, can’t I?” The officer asked.
“Why would you have a reason to search this vehicle?” Clark asked.
“I’m just asking,” the officer said.
“I wouldn’t want you to search this vehicle; I would like to get back on the road, ”said Clark.
“We live in a country and at a time where if you don’t stay calm in such situations it can become dangerous,” Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
Clark claimed the K-9 hit the U-Haul.
“I don’t have to explain this to you right now,” the officer told Clark in the video. “What I’m telling you is I’m going to search this vehicle, okay?” “
The officer then removed Clark from the vehicle.
“I’m pulling out my keys,” Clark said in the video, documenting his every move. “I get out of the car.
“You are fine,” the officer told him.
Clark was eventually placed in the back of the police car.
“Where I didn’t have a good view of the back of my U-Haul or whatever it was doing in the cabin of my U-Haul,” Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
The officer finally told him at one point that he was being held so that he could deploy his K-9 unit. Clark said the officer also called two Texas County Sheriff’s deputies to the scene. Clark said he tried to ask one of them what was going on.
“He stayed there for a second, closed the door,” Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
After the search, Clark said he asked the officer how the dog was hit on his U-Haul truck. However, Clark claimed the officer told him he didn’t have to tell him how, and then he left. Clark said he had to check and shut down the U-Haul, then sheriff’s deputies escorted him to the freeway and he was on his way.
“It took me a while to calm down,” Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
KFOR contacted the Goodwell Police Department for comment twice on Monday. Once in the morning at 10:21 a.m. and a second time at 2:33 p.m.
“This is Austin Breasette, I’m a reporter for Oklahoma’s News 4,” Austin said on a phone call to police from Goodwell, asking to speak to the chief. “I called earlier this morning.
“He’s not in the office and they sent it to him,” the woman said, referring to the chief and them who sent her Austin’s contact information. “But I can go ahead and get your information back just to be on the safe side.”
We never received a callback from the chief or department, even though we were told he would call us. We called back Tuesday afternoon at 2:30 p.m.
“We obviously want to have Goodwell’s side, and I wanted to reach out once again this afternoon,” Austin said on another phone call to the department.
“I’ll let him know you called back and I’ll have him call you back,” the woman said over the phone.
We never received a reminder.
“I just don’t want this to happen to the next person who is arrested,” Clark said in an interview with KFOR.
At the time of this story’s publication, we still have not had a response from the Goodwell Police Department. Clark said he couldn’t get the officer’s name because he didn’t have it on his jacket. He said he only had one vest that said “Police” on it.
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