HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - Waller County Constable Herschel Smith claims he was racially profiled during a traffic stop in Harris County on Tuesday.
As first reported on FOX 26’s Isiah Carey’s blog, Harris County Constables from Precinct 5 pulled him over on what he called a felony stop. Smith said that means that deputies had their guns drawn on him while also placing him in handcuffs on Beltway 8, near Memorial just after 6 p.m.
Smith stated that he was in his county vehicle when he flashed his lights at a speeding driver on the highway.
That’s when, according to Smith, that driver called police and said that a suspicious man was following him claiming that Smith flashed his gun.
Smith stated to FOX 26 that the driver, who was white, was given more credibility than he was.
Smith added that he was wearing his constable’s uniform and identified himself as such.
“They ignored my badge, they ignored my uniform, they ignored my name, it said Constable. Every deputy that works for a constable knows what this means. That means that I am the constable, the elect official, they ignored that.“
Once authorities pulled Smith over, he said, deputies had at least four weapons drawn on him, including a high-powered rifle.
FOR THE LATEST NEWS & WEATHER UPDATES DOWNLOAD THE FOX 26 APPS
“He was handcuffed for one minute and 47 seconds, at which point once they were able to speak with him, and he identified himself the Sgt. on the scene told the Deputy to go ahead and in handcuffed him. They unhandcuffed him, they continue their investigation to try to identify who he was, at that point they had not even seen his official identification.”
Smith denies pulling out a weapon and claims his license plate would’ve shown that it was a county vehicle. However, Harris County Precinct 5 Constable Ted Heap says that it was coming up under Enterprise holding company, which would have been unusual for an exempt vehicle. Smith says he was racially profiled, and the deputies weren’t acting accordingly.
“It’s time that we have true reform. People that is trained properly in order to police, and protect, and serve our people in our community,” said Smith.
“We handled this just as we would handle this with any other individual, and I do not see anything so far from any of the body cameras or any of the tapes that I have seen that would bring any concern on the way Precinct 5 handled the situation,“ said Heap.
Constable Smith says they will be conducting their own investigation, and want the caller to be held accountable as well as Precinct 5 Constable’s office.
Heap says this investigation has been turned over to the Texas Rangers.