Cops Deny Traffic Stop Was Racially Motivated

Officers accused of using racial epithet, retaliating against driver

By Anthony Ponce and BJ Lutz
|  Saturday, Mar 19, 2011  |  Updated 5:16 PM CDT
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The Village of <a title=Montgomery and the officers named in a civil lawsuit deny that an October 2009 traffic stop was racially motivated or that a racial epithet was used." />

The Village of Montgomery and the officers named in a civil lawsuit deny that an October 2009 traffic stop was racially motivated or that a racial epithet was used.

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The Village of Montgomery and the officers named in a civil lawsuit deny that an October 2009 traffic stop was racially motivated or that a racial epithet was used.

The suit was filed by 30-year-old Sherida Hughes of YorkvilleShe alleged that she was arrested on "false pretenses" and was retaliated against by the department when she filed a formal complaint.

But what Hughes didn't know during the stop was that the entire episode was being recorded by the officer's dash cam.

Her attorney filed a subpoena for that footage, and Hughes maintains that what she saw -- and heard -- confirms her suspicions.

"Honestly, I was just floored," said Hughes.

In the recording, plaintiffs say someone in the squad car used the phrase, "a bunch of f*****g n*****s."

"It's just confirmation.  Because that's how I was feeling that night.  We knew when it was happening that we were being racially profiled," said Hughes.

In a statement, lawyers for the Village of Montgomery and the officers deny the allegation:

"Montgomery and the individual officers adamantly deny that a racial epithet was used during the traffic stop.  In addition, Montgomery and the individual officers absolutely deny that race played a role in this traffic stop or in any of the traffic enformcement policies or procedures of the Village of Montgomery," said attorney Ellen Emery.

Hughes said she's outraged the four officers named in the lawsuit are still on the street, a fact the department and its lawyers declined to confirm.

"We have the proof, and I showed them the proof, and they're still not doing anything about it," said Hughes.  "That's unacceptable."

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