A Forney family will file a civil lawsuit against the Forney Police Department and the City of Forney, Texas for a controversial traffic stop made in August. According to ABC's News 8 at 4 on Tuesday, September 2, Kametra Barbour of Forney, was seen on dash-cam video being stopped by Forney police officers who approached her car with guns drawn. The officers then ordered Mrs. Barbour out of her car, told her to walk backwards toward them, and cuffed the bewildered mother's hands behind her back, while her 6-year-old son, 9-year-old daughter and two 10-year-old god daughters were left alone in the car. The Barbours' minister, Dr. Frederick Haynes, III of the Friendship West Baptist Church, said of the City of Forney's claims that police procedure had been followed in a press conference on Tuesday, “Well, your procedure needs to change. Because your procedure says, 'Okay, we don't have four black men here; any black body will do.' And, that's an insult; that's offensive.”
More than three weeks after Mrs. Barbour was mistakenly pulled over by Forney police, the dash-cam video has gone viral online; Mrs. Barbour and her husband, Christopher, a fireman, are speaking out in a news conference and filing a civil action suit against the City and Police Department of Forney. The Barbours, along with their supporters — who recall police misconduct and recent race-related incidents with police departments like the Ferguson, Missouri PD — are asking the City of Forney to make some serious changes in their police department.
According to Forney PD voice recordings, the dispatcher had alerted officers to be on the lookout for “a beige or tan colored Toyota occupied by four black males.” Barbour was driving a wine or burgundy-colored Nissan Maxima with three girls and a boy, no older than 10 as passengers. Christopher Barbour posed the question, “What if my kids had not followed the directions and remained in the car? What if they would have gotten out of the car and started to run because they were scared?”
Forney's police department has 18 officers; none of them are African American. An official statement by the department calls the horrifying incident, “a regrettable situation,” reported Demond Fernandez for WFAA News at 5 on Tuesday. Forney's city manager, Brian Brooks, told the news correspondent that “recruiting a diverse group of officers has been a challenge.” The Barbours are urging Forney to make some changes, which include that Forney PD require their officers to have racial sensitivity training, use an independent civilian review board to handle police misconduct, and urgently asked that they recruit and retain African American police officers. Brooks told News 8 that the City had not “received any complaints of racial injustice or any environment of distrust.” Brooks also said that he [Brooks] “invites the Barbours and community members to speak with city leadership about their concerns,” reports Fernandez.