After a traffic stop, a black nurse accused the police officer of racially profiling her and her friends. Following the allegations, the dashcam footage of the ordeal became public.
Ciera Calhoun, a black nurse in her late 20s, was pulled over in Lee’s Summit, Missouri, where she says a police officer racially profiled her and her friends during the traffic stop, according to Kansas City Star. She was so adamant about the mistreatment she allegedly endured, she made a lengthy Facebook post about it, which quickly went viral.
In the since-deleted post, Calhoun explained that she went home to Kansas City over the weekend and hung out with some of her friends in Lee’s Summit. “We got into the rental I rented and start driving. A police [officer] pulls us over right away. The police officer walks up to the car to tell me he pulled me over for having my lights off,” she wrote. What reportedly happened next left Calhoun not only distrusting authorities but also outright hating them.
Calhoun told the officer she was operating a rental vehicle and didn’t realize the vehicle’s lights weren’t on. According to Calhoun, the officer responded by telling her that he thought he saw a plastic bag fly out of the car’s window. Calhoun adamantly denied that anything had been thrown from the car and said the officer then asked to see her rental agreement and license.
After 10 minutes, Calhoun said the officer returned and asked her to step out of the vehicle. “Now I went from confused to being just upset,” Calhoun wrote. “This police officer gave me 2 warnings. One for not having my lights on, which I’m okay about accepting that because I was truly at fault. He then gave me a second warning,” she added, “which was a driver license violation.”
Saying she has lived in Texas for the prior two years and has a valid Texas driver’s license, Calhoun said, “The officer explained to me that my Missouri licensed showed expired and he had to go with what my Missouri license says because I was driving on Missouri roads.” But, according to Calhoun, the interaction didn’t end there.
Instead, the officer allegedly told her he wanted to search the vehicle because of the plastic bag he saw being thrown from the car window. Another cruiser pulled up to the scene. The second officer told the rest of the women to step out of the car, and the police preceded to search the vehicle, according to Calhoun’s lengthy Facebook post. Then, one of the officers emerged with what he believed could be “THC particles,” which he field-tested, according to Calhoun, who added that the results came back negative.
Ciera Calhoun also claimed another officer, who had been looking for the bag that had reportedly blown from the car, said he’d found it, but it was empty and may have simply been on the road and kicked it up into the air when her car drove over it. “Now let me tell y’all,” Calhoun wrote, “3 black nurses with [Bachelor’s] degrees and [Master’s] degrees were standing at the side of the road for an hour being harassed.” She also alleged the officers “had their hands on their guns the whole time.”
Calhoun concluded by saying the incident left her feeling unsafe. “I didn’t care for police before,” she admitted, “But now I can say I hate them to the core of me.” Adding that she felt offended and “never received an apology,” she berated the officer who was allegedly involved, giving his name and badge number, saying he harrassed 3 females and it was “probably the only time he felt manly in his life.”
“There are some sketch cops out there who are willing to go by any means to bring black people down and [it’s] beyond sad,” Calhoun cautioned. “Be careful out there,” she added. According to the Star, Calhoun said she felt the officers just “kept trying to find something” and each of her friends provided similar accounts of what had purportedly happened during the traffic stop.
After becoming aware of the allegations, Lee’s Summit Police Chief Travis Forbes said the department initiated a complaint investigation, acknowledging that racial profiling is a serious allegation. “Biased-based policing is prohibited,” he explained. “We look into any complaints about this very seriously.” What they discovered, however, didn’t line up with Ciera Calhoun’s recollection of events.
“There’s nothing sinister or nefarious here,” Lee’s Summit Police Sgt. Chris Depue said after viewing the dashcam footage of the traffic stop, during which the officer was “cordial” with all of the women. “Her post is derogatory,” Depue added and noted that if Calhoun insisted on “sticking by her allegations,” the department would release the video of the stop to refute her allegations as well as screenshots of her posts that she had since taken down. And, that’s just what they did.
“We don’t want to be ugly about this but she is making a serious allegation that is simply not true and we will show the public the entire body of evidence regarding the stop,” Depue said. Indeed, the video paints a much different picture than the story Ciera Calhoun told. Thankfully, there was video evidence. Otherwise, this woman and all those who shared her post could have ruined an innocent man’s reputation. Remember that the next time you might want to take someone’s word on social media and become part of an angry mob without sufficient evidence.