LOUISVILLE, KY – The Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) is under investigation after claims surfaced of racial profiling made by the president of Simmons College. According to the president, an LMPD officer pulled over a black man and woman simply because they were driving an Audi and surely that is not common among black people. But even if it is not common, it is not a crime… but because of the fact that it isn’t common, some Louisville officers use it as a justification to investigate and then create a reason for the stop later. That is the claim being made by Simmons College President, Reverend Kevin Cosby. He is also the senior pastor of St. Stephen Church. The couple pulled over by Louisville police officers was Cosby and his wife.
According to Cosby, he and his wife were pulled over by LMPD in their Audi at 22nd Street and Muhammad Ali Blvd. over the weekend. In the cell phone video, Cosby is heard asking the officer why were they stopped.
“Two reasons — one, you made an invalid turn, back there when you turned on 22nd, I’m not exactly sure which street it was off of, you made an improper turn there and also sir, the plastic rim on your license plate is illegal,” the officer said. “You’re not allowed to have that on there.”
In the video the cop is heard asking for Cosby’s and his wife’s licenses. After reviewing their licenses to his satisfaction, the officer lets them go with a warning saying, “we’re all good.”
“Have a good night,” the officer said before walking away. What the officer doesn’t clarify is what is wrong with the rim around the license plate. On top of that, the officer is unable to say where exactly the Simmons College president made the illegal turn. If in fact he was to arrest the president of the college, his report would be filled with inaccuracies. Based upon the officer’s actions and inability to definitely pinpoint what it was Cosby did wrong, a case of racial profiling is being made.
According to the New York Times, “Cosby’s daughter, Christine Cosby-Gaither, gathered with ministers and community leaders Tuesday in calling for a review of not only the incident but of all departmental policies.”
“We feel that (the officer’s) actions were inappropriate, and reflect the frustration of many black citizens: that they are poorly treated by the police and the judicial system,” Cosby-Gaither said.
“Black folk who get stopped for regular traffic violations end up in jail more than anybody else — but it doesn’t mean we’re breaking the law more than anybody else,” David Snardon of the Ministerial Coalition said.
“The incident that occurred Saturday night to my parents was quite unfortunate,” Christine Cosby Gaither, Cosby’s daughter said.
Cosby’s daughter posted the video of the interaction to Facebook captioning it with:
Tonight I received some very disturbing news from my parents!
They were stopped by a Louisville Metro Police officer for absolutely nothing…but for being black in West Louisville. The officer states in the video that they were pulled over for illegally turning off a street in which the officer clearly states he was unaware of. Additionally, the officer stated that they were pulled over because the license plate frame that he had around his license plate is illegal. I was unaware that this was the case in Louisville, as I have my sorority plate around my license plate also. 🤔
I never post or use Facebook (or any of my social media sites) as a sounding board, but tonight…I MUST!
My father and mother, the President and First Lady of Simmons College of Kentucky and the Pastor of Kentucky’s largest Black church was stopped tonight by a racist cop who targeted them because they were BLACK, driving a Audi, in West Louisville!
Racial profiling MUST STOP!!