Jacksonville, FL - Jacksonville City Councilman Reggie Gaffney and Councilwoman Katrina Brown accused the sheriff's office of racial profiling after officers stopped Gaffney, but an investigation by the News4Jax I-TEAM revealed that not only was there no profiling, but Gaffney may have been caught committing a crime.
The incident happened Monday night while Gaffney and Brown were heading home from a city council meeting in separate vehicles.
Officers were randomly running plates, a common practice, when the plates on Gaffney's vehicle came back as stolen.
The officers stopped Gaffney, who angrily got out of the car and confronted officers saying, "Do you know who I am?"
The officers told him that the plate was reported stolen, and he responded, “I did not report it stolen."
Except Gaffney had reported it stolen in March 2016, right after he started getting red light camera tickets.
Confronted with his own police report about his plate being stolen, Gaffney said that he had just forgotten that his license plate was stolen, and it was later returned to him. He claims that he just never updated the police that his plate had been returned.
While officers were still on the traffic stop dealing with an irate Gaffney, Councilwoman Brown pulled up and also accused the officers of racial profiling.
Having been caught, and confronted with proof that he wasn't racially profiled, Gaffney is doubling-down rather than backing down on his claims.
“I can see why lots of blacks are afraid of police,” Gaffney said to News4Jax. “When we get stopped, the first thing that comes to mind, no matter what we did, is why are they so aggressive?”
However, body camera video shows that Gaffney was the aggressive one during the incident.
“Personally I think they should vote to approve the budget then publicly apologize to those police officers. If not, they should resign immediately following the meeting,” FOP president Steve Zona said.
There are no reports that Gaffney is under investigation at this time for filing a false police report.