DES MOINES, Iowa — For the first time we’re seeing video of a police encounter that led to racial profiling complaints against the Des Moines Police Department. The complaint stems from the questioning of a pastor from Virginia.
Tony Suarez says in June he was followed by police for several miles and then confronted by two officers after pulling into a hotel near the Des Moines International Airport.
Suarez says he was stopped and questioned simply because he was driving a white BMW.
Officers say the vehicle was suspicious because it is similar to one driven by a known drug dealer.
Police released an in-car recording of the exchange Friday.
A portion of a transcript from the video is shown below:
Pastor Suarez: I`m a little perturbed. This is random, this has never happened to me in my life.
Officer: Perhaps this is God`s will, you`ll leave here and you`ll have some sort of enlightenment.
Pastor Suarez: I think I should do the preaching, and there`s no enlightenment here other than I`ve been pulled over, or not pulled over.
Officer: Wait a minute, you haven`t been pulled over.
Pastor Suarez: No but I`ve been questioned about drug dealing, asked to search the car, asked for my ID and I`ve done nothing wrong yet you`ve asked for all of these things.
Suarez filed a formal complaint over the incident. Following a three-month internal investigation the department cleared its officers of racial profiling.
You can watch the entire dashcam video from the incident below: