Alabama university president apologizes to family of Black teen for stop

Published 10:53 am Thursday, October 15, 2020

The president of the University of Alabama in Huntsville has apologized to the family of a Black teen who was pulled over by campus police after the teen’s mother posted her concerns about the incident on social media.

The apology by school President Darren Dawson was issued Wednesday, two days after Chanda Crutcher wrote about the Oct. 3 traffic stop on Facebook.

Crutcher said her 17-year-old son was traveling home from work during the evening when he was stopped by the officers for what was said to be a cracked tail light. Crutcher, who said she watched body camera video of the traffic stop, wrote that her son’s vehicle was then searched.

Her post said one officer referred to her son as “brother” and asked him several times if he had drugs “or a dead prostitute” in his car.

She told WHNT-TV that she has been in contact with Dawson about the incident.

“We’ve got to do better,” she told the news outlet. “I truly believe we are better together, but that starts with holding each other accountable. UAH you are going to be held accountable.”

Dawson said in his statement Wednesday that the “words and actions” of campus police during the traffic stop “do not represent who we are as an institution.”

“I have spoken with the family of the young driver to offer my sincere apologies and address the family’s thoughts, ideas and concerns,” he said. “We will use this as a learning and training opportunity.”