Family says St. Louis County Police mistreated them because of race

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by Brittany Noble / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on August 16, 2013 at 8:36 PM

Updated Friday, Aug 16 at 9:28 PM

(KMOV.com) - An African-American family said it was questioned by St. Louis County Police for being in the wrong neighborhood.

The family is contracted by a larger company to fix up homes. On Friday, they were asked to work on a South County house near Tesson Ferry and Butler Hill Road.

The family said they noticed a white man following them through the neighborhood. 

“He would not let us go to the right or to the left,” Dale Watson said. 

The family said 10 minutes after they arrived at the house, two police officers stopped by, ran their licenses, and then questioned the legitimacy of Watson’s business.

Watson’s niece recorded the conversation on her cell phone.

“I'm going to assume you’re legitimate but if we have any problems I'll come down on you like a headless horseman,” the officer said.

Watson kept his cool, but he knew that the officer meant.

“It’s been quoted by the KKK stating they would come and kill the African-Americans, I thought it was totally out of order especially from a police officer who we pay our taxes to,” said Watson.

The St. Louis County Police Department said it is investigating the matter.

 

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