The Georgia Department of Public Safety has launched an investigation into NBA veteran Anthony Morrow’s allegations of racial profiling by two Georgia State Patrolmen during a traffic stop this past Thursday, according to the Atlanta Journal Constitution.
The nine-year NBA veteran was driving his 2016 Dodge Challenger from Charlotte to Atlanta on his way to pick up his 8-year-old daughter when police stopped him on Interstate 85, Morrow told the Charlotte Observer. More from the North Carolina native’s account to his hometown newspaper:
Morrow said he provided his driver’s license, registration and insurance card, then was immediately asked, “Are there any drugs, large sums of money or guns in this car?”
Morrow said no, and then he was asked about a sweet smell in his car, which Morrow replied was an air freshener.
At that point, according to Morrow, the police asked to search the car. Morrow declined them permission. He was then frisked and a police dog was brought to Morrow’s car to twice search for the scent of drugs.
Morrow said on Instagram that police “damn near pulled my car apart looking for drugs and money.” He added, “No probable cause, no drug scent, no indication of me being intoxicated. I posted this to let people know profiling is REAL no matter what your profession is. I fit the look of a guy driving a certain car that would have drugs and money in my car so I got randomly pulled over and violated.”
— UNINTERRUPTED (@uninterrupted) August 28, 2017
While Morrow suggested the officers were from the Commerce (Ga.) Police Department, CPD Chief Zach Ardis told USA Today in an email that the two men in question worked for the Georgia State Patrol.
The Georgia Department of Public Safety confirmed to the Atlanta Journal Constitution on Tuesday that the office was investigating the complaints Morrow made online and asked his followers to share.
“While Mr. Morrow has made no such formal complaint to the Department of Public Safety, we do take those statements very seriously,” DPS spokesperson Capt. Mark Perry told the AJC. “Accordingly, a formal investigation has been initiated to determine the facts surrounding the traffic stop, and the results of the investigation will be made public at its conclusion.”
Perry then offered a detailed account of the Georgia State Patrol’s side of the traffic stop story:
Perry said troopers stopped Morrow about 5:41 p.m. because they suspected an illegal window tint. When Morrow declined to allow the troopers to search his 2015 Dodge Challenger, a police dog walked along the outside of the car.
“A subsequent search of the vehicle revealed no contraband or illegal items,” Perry said.
Morrow was given a warning about the 4 percent tint and released.
USA Today’s A.J. Perez acquired a copy of the “courtesy warning” the DPS allegedly issued Morrow:
— A.J. Perez (@byajperez) August 28, 2017
However, Morrow claimed he never received a copy of the warning for illegally tinted windows:
“They didn’t give me a warning, they didn’t give me a ticket,” Morrow told the Charlotte Observer. “They are lying.”
Instead, Morrow said, any questions about his windows came only after the officers inquired about drugs, money and guns in the vehicle. “I was humiliated on the side of the road,” he told the Observer. “I had my (car’s) hood up and the trunk up. How much more did they need (to establish he wasn’t in possession of anything illegal)? … I felt degraded. I know what I stand for; humanity and peace.”
Morrow is currently a free agent. A career 41.7 percent 3-point shooter, he averaged 5.5 points in 14.6 minutes over 49 games split between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Chicago Bulls last season.
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