SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) – A Sacramento paramedic claims he was racially profiled by a Sacramento police officer and is calling on the city to use his story as a training opportunity for the department.
Rodrick Huerta-Moore has been a first responder for more than 20 years, and after working a 15-hour shift two weeks ago, he was looking forward to going home from his job as a paramedic.
“As soon as I pulled out of the parking lot, I noticed this car speed up behind me with no headlights on,” Huerta-Moore recalled.
After driving a few blocks, Huerta-Moore said he noticed the headlights turn on.
“I saw they activated their emergency lights so I realized I was getting pulled over,” he told FOX40. “Then the officer walked up to my window and he was like, ‘I’m pulling you over because your window tint is too dark.'”
Huerta-Moore said at that point, the officer cuffed him and placed him in the back of the car.
“There was a burglary in the neighborhood so you meet the description. You’re a suspect. I was like, ‘A suspect in a burglary? Are you serious right now?'” he said.
Frustrated, Huerta-Moore said he finally got the officer to contact his supervisor, but that wasn’t enough for the officer to let him go.
“He was like, ‘If you don’t have pounds of marijuana in your trunk I might be able to let you go home.’ I was like, ‘I don’t have any marijuana in my trunk. I don’t smoke marijuana,'” Huerta-Moore said.
Huerta-Moore said the officer even asked him to hand over his “weapon” – a pair of trauma sheers he carries for work.
“At that point, I started feeling like I was being racially profiled just because I’m a Black guy and they all think Black guys smoke marijuana or something,” he told FOX40.
Huerta-Moore said after about 15 minutes of trying to prove his innocence, he was free to go but not without feeling like he had been mistreated.
“I was feeling frustrated, a little angry. Definitely, I was feeling scared,” he explained.
The director of the city’s Office of Public Safety Accountability, LeTasha Watson, told FOX40 this interaction is concerning and everyone deserves to be treated with respect, adding that her office will look into this case.
“That’s what we’re here for, to look at every side and make sure that things were done properly,” Watson said.
Huerta-Moore said he has since forgiven the officer.
A spokesperson for Sacramento police would not do an on-camera interview but did release the following statement:
The department has received a complaint regarding a traffic stop that occurred on October 2, 2021 at approximately 1:05 a.m. in the area of Ethan Way and Exposition Boulevard. The complaint has been filed and the department is investigating the circumstances of the incident. Per law the department is prohibited from discussing personnel matters and is unable to provide further comment at this time.Ofc. Karl Chan, Public information Office, Sacramento Police Department