BRADLEY COUNTY, Tennessee -(WDEF) What should have been a routine traffic stop by a Bradley County Sheriff's deputy has now turned into accusations of racial profiling.
Bertha Blair was recently stop by a Bradley County deputy near this intersection of Benton Pike and Lowery St. The deputy told her she was pulled her over because she was doing 33 on a 25 mph road then admitted he never clocked her at that speed but rather only paced her car.
He asked to see her ID and the ID of her son Mark.
"I asked why do you need to see his ID," Blair said after realizing Mark as only a passenger.
"Because he's a passenger in a vehicle and state law requires that you keep ID on you at all time," said the deputy who was unaware Blair and her son were both recording the traffic stop with smart phones.
News 12 contacted former veteran cop Robin Flores who's now a civil rights attorney and showed him the video. He couldn't believe what the deputy told Mark Blair about being required to have an ID even if he's only a passenger.
"In my opinion it's a profile. Racial profiling. To sit there and tell the individual that in the state of Tennessee, if you're over the age of 18 you had to have a ID card is a an outright lie," Flores said.
Bradley County Sheriff's public information officer Bob Gault said deputies are required to ask for license, registration and proof of insurance when stopping a motorist for a traffic infraction. In the video, the deputy only ask for Blair's drivers license and her son's ID.
News 12 asked Gault if that was a violation of the Sheriff's office policy.
I'm not sure where exactly that would fall. I can't answer that question," Gault said.
When the deputy returned with both their ID's, the video shows him asking Blair and her if they were on probation. Mark Blair told the deputy he was on probation for a misdemeanor arrest that occurred six year ago. The video show the officer constantly drilling him with questions about the nature of the arrest which had nothing to do with the traffic stop.
Flores said some members of law enforcement use that line of questioning to their advantage.
"It can be construed that the guy was trying to stir something up. Get them to get upset and then have a reason to say now you're disorderly and then lock you up," Flores said.
"I was scared and felt like they were provoking me to get me out the car then they could do what ever they wanted to me," Mark Blair said.
News 12 gave the Bradley County Sheriffs office numerous opportunities to view the video but they declined.
Bertha Blair said she was filing a formal complaint against the deputy.
Despite being stopped for speeding, she was never given a ticket.