The NAACP called for sheriff’s deputies in Virginia to be fired after a traffic stop in which a man says he was racially profiled.
Arkim Smith of Leesburg said he was pulled over on Route 7 in Ashburn Thursday for a missing brake light but five Loudoun County sheriff’s cruisers responded and a K9 was used to search for drugs.
“I’m a black young man, you know,” he said. “I got my hat tilted to the side. You think I’m just some random just black guy that’s out here selling drugs? I just feel I was profiled.”
A statement from the Loudoun County Sheriff's Office said Smith was stopped for the brake light and a K9 alerted on his car for the possible presence of drugs. Deputies searched the car but did not find any drugs.
Smith said he never saw the K9 bark or scratch to indicate drugs. He said he was handcuffed while deputies searched his car. When nothing was found, he was let go. Then he started recording with his phone.
“The NAACP stands with Arkim and to fight for justice,” said Pastor Michelle Thomas, president of the Loudoun County NAACP.
The NAACP is calling for all the deputies in the incident to be fired.
“Everything about this smells of racial profiling,” Thomas said. “It was just totally nonsensical and outside of the realm of police work.”
Smith filed a formal complaint with the sheriff’s office, which said it’s still investigating what happened.
“Us black men are scared for our lives just being pulled over for minor things you know, me being one of them, and I just want it to stop,” Smith said.
The NAACP said the deputies essentially tore apart Smith’s car and didn’t put it back together and drove away with Smith’s wallet and drivers license.
The sheriff’s office declined an interview citing the ongoing investigation.