A Black family was mistakenly confronted by police due to a license plate error. The police department explained that while checking the vehicle’s license plate, officers mistakenly entered it as originating from another instead of the correct state, This error led the system to falsely identify the car as stolen.
The incident happened on July 23 as the family was driving to a basketball tournament. While running the car’s license plate, officers mistakenly entered it as originating from Arizona instead of the correct state, Arkansas, leading the system to notify officers that the car was stolen, according to the Frisco Police Department.
The available body camera footage reveals an officer pointing a gun at the family. They were instructed to show their hands, and the driver was asked to step out, turn away, raise her shirt to display her waistband, and walk backward.
Despite the driver’s attempts to clarify the vehicle’s ownership and her state of residence, her son was handcuffed, causing her considerable distress.
She exclaimed, “Please don’t let them do that to my baby, this is very traumatizing. Why is my baby in cuffs? What are you all doing? Do not treat my baby this way.”
Once officers identified their oversight, they admitted the error.
One officer commented, “This was an honest mistake,” while another said, “That’s on me.” Frisco Police Chief David Shilson later stated, “We made a mistake. Our department will not hide from its mistakes. Instead, we will learn from them.”
Civil rights attorney David Henderson opined that the family may have been profiled and that their constitutional rights were potentially violated.
He mentioned to The Dallas Morning News, “In cases I’ve seen involving people of color who have a license to carry, as soon as they alert the police to the fact that they have a weapon, the police change drastically in terms of how they deal with them.”