SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS / KPIX 5) – A veteran officer of the San Francisco Police Department has accused three other officers of racial profiling, following a traffic stop in the Bayview neighborhood Thursday night.
Officer Lorenzo Adamson, who was off-duty at the time, was pulled over around 8:30 p.m. Thursday near Third Street and Newcomb Avenue. According to police, Adamson’s car had no front or rear license plates and tinted windows.
Adamson, who is black, contends he was the victim of racial profiling because of how the three white officers conducted the stop, according to San Francisco NAACP president The Rev. Amos Brown.
“It was a profiling because immediately this off-duty veteran officer was asked, ‘Are you on parole?’” Brown said, adding that the question plays into commonly held stereotypes of African Americans.
“The officer had no business raising the question immediately, are you on parole? He should have been asking for his identification, his insurance, his registration.” Brown said.
Brown called for an independent investigation at a news conference Friday sponsored by the San Francisco chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
The incident is being investigated by the police department’s Internal Affairs unit, according to Commander Charlie Orkes. He defended the officers’ conduct in light of the circumstances. “The officer was armed but did not identify himself,” he said, referring to Adamson.
“The traffic stop deteriorated into a physical confrontation,” Orkes said, before the 43-year-old Adamson was taken to a police station where he was cited and released.
Adamson has been a San Francisco police officer for 15 years.
Orkes said it is not unusual for officers to ask about the parole or probation status of people they stop, refuting Brown’s assertion that the officers violated a San Francisco Police Department policy against such questioning.
Adamson’s attorney, John Burris, did not respond to KPIX 5’s request for comment as of Friday evening.
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