TPD: Toledo city councilman not racially profiled during stop - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

TPD: Toledo city councilman not racially profiled during traffic stop

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Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes Toledo City Councilman Larry Sykes
Sykes' license plate Sykes' license plate
TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

After conducting an internal investigation into a Toledo city councilman who was pulled over by a Toledo police officer, the police department says claims of racial profiling were unfounded.

Larry Sykes said he was driving home along Byrne Road on April 24, when he noticed he was being followed by a Toledo police officer.

"He said, ‘Do you have any guns or weapons or drugs or something in your car?' and I said, 'No,'" explained Sykes.

According to Sykes, the questions were asked before he handed over his identification. He said the officer told him he could not read the SUV's license plate, which says 4DRWBLK, short for "for driving while black."

Toledo Police pulled Sykes over after the police officer said he couldn't read Sykes' license plate. The officer stated that Sykes' SUV did not have a front plate, which is against the law in Ohio. The back plate was hard to read because of a dirty plastic cover over the plate.

Sykes said there was no reason he should have been targeted by police and he was not cited for anything. So he wrote a two-page letter to the police chief demanding an explanation and calling for a full investigation. Police say Sykes was issued a warning.

Sykes says he felt the stop was unnecessary.

The dash cam video shows the traffic stop. It shows the lights and sirens being activated, Sykes taking a while to stop, and then the officer knocking on his window. In an interrogation by Internal Affairs, Sykes said he saw the officer, but was caught off guard when he sped up behind him so quickly.

Upon further review, the Toledo Police Department says there was no racial profiling and no abuse of authority. Internal Affairs has closed the case.

"I never alleged it was abuse of power. Abuse of power would probably have to be in my imagination. I would assume something physical to erratic. This young officer was very nice and cordial and that was it," said Sykes. 

Sykes says he's ready for this situation to be over with and has no ill will to the Toledo Police Department.

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