MISSOULA —A man who was stopped by Missoula police after a Monday evening robbery has filed a complaint with the police department, alleging racial profiling.
“I want an apology,” said Dameon Beasley, 33, who said that he and a friend were briefly handcuffed during the incident.
Missoula Police Capt. Scott Hoffman confirmed Thursday that Beasley had filed a complaint.
Beasley and his friend were stopped after a report of a strong-arm robbery at Carol Ann Court and South Curtis Street. A 17-year-old youth reported that two men roughed him up and took his wallet and cellphone, according to Missoula police.
The teenager described the men as 18 to 20 years old, about 6 feet tall, 175 pounds, and black, and said they fled in a red truck.
Beasley said he and his friend – both residents at the Pre-Release Center on Mullan Road – were stopped at about 8:20 p.m. as they rode their bikes along Mullan Road. (The friend did not speak with the Missoulian.)
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Beasley is 33, and about 5 feet, 4 inches tall, and stocky. His friend is 29, and 5 feet, 11 inches tall, and about 160 pounds, according to Department of Corrections records. Both are black.
Beasley said that after a second officer arrived, he and his friend were handcuffed. A few minutes later, a third officer came and ordered that the two men be released from the cuffs, Beasley said.
“I know I have a criminal record,” said Beasley, who is completing a 2009 five-year sentence, partially suspended, for felony possession of dangerous drugs. “But they stopped me because of my skin tone. That’s not cool. … It kind of just threw me for a loop.”
Hoffman said that Beaseley’s allegation of being handcuffed “is not in the details of this complaint.”
Dashboard videos taken when police officers stop will likely be reviewed, he said.
Investigations of such complaints usually take about two weeks, Hoffman said.