Maumee police looking into allegations of racial profiling

Laquell Lee says the officer racially profiled her.
Laquell Lee says the officer racially profiled her.

MAUMEE -- An African American Maumee resident says she was treated poorly during a routine traffic stop -- because of the color of her skin, reports News 11's Colleen Wells.

"The law is the same for everybody, no matter what color," says Laquell Lee, who, at the time of this interview, was in tears.

On Sunday, Lee says she was driving out of a Maumee Taco Bell parking lot with her family, including an 18-year-old, and two 11-year-olds. Several blocks later she was pulled over by a Maumee police officer for making an illegal turn.

After running her information, the officer told her that her license was suspended, she says.

"He came back and said, 'I have to arrest you, take your plates off your car and tow your car.' I said, 'What about my kids in the car?' He said, 'I don't care. They can walk,'" Lee says.

Lee was then taken to the police station while her family members waited at a Long John Silver's for a ride. The police report shows Lee admitted to the illegal turn and describes her as "angry and loud."

Lee, however, denies that and says she didn't like the officer's tone. She is questioning why she was pulled over in the first place.

"I think he racially profiled me before I even pulled over. You see four black people in the car -- trouble. When actually, it wasn't even about that," Lee says.

Lee's sister-in-law was in the car and wrote a letter to the Maumee police chief after the incident, complaining about the officer's behavior. He replied to her letter with an e-mail, saying the department would look at this incident.

The on-duty sergeant with the Maumee Police Dept. chose not to make an official statement to News 11 on Tuesday night but says the officer involved is seasoned and did follow procedure.

Posted by KO