The Frisco, Texas, police chief issued an apology on Friday after a family from Little Rock, Arkansas, who were headed to a basketball tournament in Grapevine, was mistakenly pulled over in a “high-risk stop,” after a Frisco officer ran the car’s plates as being from Arizona, instead of Arkansas, leading police to believe it was stolen, according to body camera video and information released by police.
On July 23, a Frisco police officer saw a black Dodge Charger with an out-of-state license plate leave a hotel and ran a check of the vehicle’s license plate. According to a news release from Frisco Police, when entering the information, the officer mistakenly entered the plate as being from Arizona, instead of Arkansas, causing an incorrect registration return and leading the officer to believe that the vehicle was possibly stolen.
The officer then initiated a “high-risk traffic stop” on the Dallas North Tollway and waited for backup officers to arrive, the release said. Police closed the southbound lanes of the tollway and conducted the high-risk stop, which the department said is “standard procedure for stolen vehicles.”
Body camera video from two officers, released by the department on Friday, shows the mother who was driving and her 6th grade son, who was in the back seat, being ordered out of the vehicle.
“Slowly exit the vehicle. Face away from us. (…) Turn around. Do not face us,” says one officer who has his gun drawn toward the car. “Everybody in the car – hands outside the window. (…) Driver, slowly lift up your shirt, only for us to see your waistband. Slowly spin around.”
“If you reach in that car, you may get shot so be careful. Do not reach in the car,” the officer shouts once they have been told, by the driver, that her licensed handgun is locked in the glove compartment.
“We made a mistake,” Frisco Police Chief David Shilson said in a statement Friday. “Our department will not hide from its mistakes. Instead, we will learn from them. The officer involved quickly accepted responsibility for what happened, which speaks to integrity. I’ve spoken with the family. I empathize with them and completely understand why they’re upset.”
The body camera video shows the officer who initiated the stop taking the mother aside and questioning her about her car’s tags. The woman tells the officer that the children in the back of the car are her son and nephew. Meanwhile, body camera video shows the driver’s husband talking to a second officer, saying “Listen sir, this is my wife’s car. We’re just in a basketball tournament.”
“I’m a basketball coach. Look at this bro,” he continues, as his son can be heard crying.