Police Testify in Wrongful Arrest of Black Woman, Legal Team Claims Racial Profiling

by Xara Aziz
Voiced by Amazon Polly

A police officer who mistakenly arrested a Black woman back in 2020 has been ordered to testify in court for racial profiling.

Kayla Borden, 35, was stopped at around 1 a.m. after being accused of fleeing a crime scene. Police records indicate that shortly after the arrest, it was discovered that the driver and vehicle did not match descriptions initially broadcast over a police radio system.

But the officer, named Const. Scott Martin, arrested her anyway. It was later discovered that the person they were looking for was driving a black Pontiac. Borden was driving a blueish-gray 2010 Dodge Avenger.

“The information I had been given was reasonable grounds to make the arrest so I did so,” said Martin, one of the officers mentioned in the wrongful arrest complaint.

Prior to her arrest, she was ordered to keep her hands on the steering wheel of the vehicle and was later placed in handcuffs. Moments later, she was informed that she was longer under arrest and was allowed to go home.

“Why not simply continue to detain Borden instead of arresting her while waiting for [the other officer] to arrive?” Asaf Rashid, Borden’s lawyer, asked Martin.

“In my opinion there were ample grounds to make the arrest,” Martin replied.

Borden’s legal team is now arguing that if Borden was White, police would have waited.

Police are more likely “to handle things differently, 100 percent, I believe that,” Borden said.

“There were so many differences in what was described on the dispatch and her vehicle,” Rashid said.

Other officers named in the complaint said they wrongfully arrested her because it was difficult to see the color of the vehicle – meaning it was hard for them to differentiate between the black car they were looking for the blueish-gray one Borden was driving.

“Hearing all these accounts of it’s dark outside and it’s a dark-colored vehicle, even though the initial vehicle was described as black, her vehicle is grey-blue and I don’t see it as really that dark at all, definitely not black,” Rashid said outside the courtroom.

“As the arresting officer approached the vehicle, that should have been pretty obvious that there’s a real uncertainty if this was the correct vehicle or not,” he added.

“I do recognize that it was unfortunate that we obviously had the wrong vehicle and it had a huge impact on Ms. Borden, which I did apologize for,” Martin said. “At the time, we had sufficient grounds to stop the vehicle and make the arrest.”

Meanwhile, Borden says she’s afraid to drive at night since the incident.

“I don’t like driving at night anymore,” she said. “You never know what’s going to happen.”

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