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Mother asks for change in UAH police department after incident with her son

For the first time, we are hearing from the mother of a high school student, after her son was allegedly taunted by University of Alabama in Huntsville campus police.

Posted: Oct 19, 2020 9:00 PM
Updated: Oct 19, 2020 10:53 PM

For the first time, we are hearing from the mother of a high school student, after her son was allegedly taunted by University of Alabama in Huntsville campus police.

This comes two weeks after police pulled over the Black teenager on campus for a broken tail light. His mother says they told him to get out of the car and then asked him inappropriate questions.

"I'm tired. And I think my weariness is consistent with the weariness of the Black community and of Black moms everywhere," said mother, Chanda Crutcher.

Crutcher says her 17-year-old son, Caleb, usually drives through UAH to get home from his part-time job.

"He was pulled over by a UAH police officer," said Crutcher.

She says an officer then started asking her son disturbing questions.

"'Do you have any weed in the car?' When Caleb responded 'no sir,' he began to badger him about that. It escalated to being, 'do you have crack in the car?' And finally, what was so gut-wrenching, is when he said, 'do you have a dead prostitute in the car?'" said Crutcher.

On Oct. 14, UAH president Darren Dawson sent this statement, saying "The words and actions by UAH police during a traffic stop on October 3, 2020, do not represent who we are as an institution."

While Crutcher says she is glad the university acknowledged how the situation was handled was wrong, she wants to see more done.

"Annual symposiums on diversity and get nationally-known subject matter experts that can come in and teach us how to be better together," said Crutcher.

She says she wants campus police to be held accountable.

"Our young men are being emotionally traumatized again and again as they are put in these situations that I believe are completely avoidable," said Crutcher.

On Monday, the university sent a statement saying it is reviewing UAHPD policies and forming a committee of campus partners to review them as well.

It's something Crutcher says she will believe when she sees it happen.

"Make us feel safe in our community. I'm weary. I'm carefully optimistic that change will come, but I'm so sad that it's not here yet," said Crutcher.

Caleb Crutcher is not a student at UAH, but his mother says he usually drives through campus as a short cut to get home.

The university says it will increase awareness of the ways to report any concerns on campus.

WAAY 31 did reach out to UAH and a spokesperson said the university is not doing interviews on this topic right now.

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