Driver blames Bartlett officer for racial profiling

Driver blames Bartlett officer for racial profiling

BARTLETT, TN (WMC) - A driver said a Bartlett police officer pulled him over for no reason. He said it happens to him all the time, and he's wondering if it has to do with the fact that he's a black man driving a fancy car.

This time, the driver videotaped the traffic stop.

Colton Cathey is a tattoo artist by trade, but a car fanatic by nature.

A quick look at his Facebook page shows a fleet of tricked out cars, including two jeeps, a corvette and a Maserati.

But it is a video on his Facebook page that is raising eyebrows. It's the video of him being pulled over for a traffic stop by a Bartlett police officer.

In the video, the officer tells the driver he pulled him over because his headlights were not on. The driver says that's not true, because he has automatic headlights.

"If you're going to be riding this clean, you need to have your headlights on," the officer tells Cathey.

As the officer goes back to his patrol car to run Cathey's license, Cathey comments on the reason for the stop.

The officer then asks the driver "What, do you sell weed, man? Cocaine?"

The driver said he thinks the officer was racially profiling him and that's why he pulled him over.

"Him saying my headlights weren't on, all my cars are new so they automatically come on," Cathey said.

Cathey said he is used to hearing the sarcasm from law officers.

"He wasn't the most aggressive of all the ones I have, but it was the sarcasm in the whole experience," Cathey said.

He said getting pulled over is a regular occurrence and often, officers ask him if he is a drug dealer.

In this case, Cathy said the officer did not believe him when he said he was a tattoo artist.

"When I am driving, I just try to get to my destination. I try not to make too many stops," Cathey said.

He was let go with a warning, but he hopes this video can help prove a point.

"Black people can be successful in other things other than drugs, sports and rapping," Cathey said. "Just can't judge a book by its cover."

Watch the video below (WARNING: Video contains some explicit language):

The Bartlett Police Department issued a statement regarding the stop.

It was a stop for apparently driving at night or at least dark without headlights, for which the driver was issued a warning citation. The rest was a consensual conversation and no laws were broken.

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