- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 15, 2015

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (AP) - Police are investigating a report by a black man who said he was surrounded by four officers with guns drawn then handcuffed after a security guard reported him as a possible car thief in Colorado Springs.

The probe was opened Tuesday in response to a request by the American Civil Liberties Union regarding the May 6 incident, The Gazette (https://bit.ly/1gCbma6 ) reported.

Matthew Talley, 21, said he lost his keys, got inside his 1984 Chevrolet Caprice Classic with the help of a locksmith, and was trying to start it with a butter knife when he heard a knock on his window and looked up to see the armed officers.

He said he put up his hands, got out of his car and was pushed to the ground, handcuffed and frisked.

“Because of my race and because of the person I am, being a larger African-American, that’s why they put in full force,” said Talley, who stands 6-foot-4. “I realized that the system is flawed and we need to do something to fix it because innocent people like myself are at stake.”

Police spokeswoman Lt. Catherine Buckley confirmed that police opened an internal investigation after getting a letter from the ACLU. She said no previous complaint was made about the incident.

A police call of service record doesn’t indicate that guns were drawn or that Talley was handcuffed, but no report was filed with details of the incident.

The service record and a 911 call indicate a man who identified himself as a security officer with U.S. Security Associates called police to say he had heard reports of a suspicious person and it looked like someone was trying to hot wire a car.

Asked to provide a description, the caller said he thought the man was black. He also told a dispatcher the car could belong to the man and that no one was in immediate danger.

It’s the second time in three months the ACLU has asked Colorado Springs to investigate a possible case of racial bias.

In May, it complained about the treatment of two brothers, who are also black, after one was pulled from their car. The officer who was investigated was cleared of wrongdoing.


Information from: The Gazette, https://www.gazette.com

Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

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