Mother pleads for transparency in son’s traffic stop ahead of ordinance vote

Mother pleads for transparency in son’s traffic stop ahead of ordinance vote

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Monday marks nearly two years since a controversial traffic stop where 18-year-old Tae-Ahn Lea was pulled from his car and handcuffed by an LMPD officer.

Tija Jackson said she still believes her son was racially profiled. Bodycam footage was released but Jackson tells WAVE 3 News it still doesn’t bring any sense of closure to their family.

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The family said their case is another out of many in the community that demands transparency.

The scene that took place in August 2018 at 18th and Algonquin is still engraved in their memory. Lea was pulled over for allegedly making a wide turn. LMPD’s Mobile Unit conducted the traffic stop.

Jackson said that she taught her son to put his hands on the wheel and to cooperate with police if he was ever pulled over.

Lea called his mother when he was pulled over, and she stayed on the phone with him until she got there.

“I think that’s the best move he could’ve done,” Jackson said. “Otherwise things would’ve been different.”

That day, she recorded her own video of the incident. She said they left without any closure on why her son was a target.

When Tae-Ahn Lea was pulled over by LMPD, his mother came to his aide.
When Tae-Ahn Lea was pulled over by LMPD, his mother came to his aide.

At the time, LMPD said they pull people over to identify violent criminals. That policy has since been changed.

Tija Jackson said she still believes her son, Tae-Ahn Lea was racially profiled. Body cam footage was released but Jackson tells WAVE 3 News it still doesn’t bring any sense of closure to their family.
Tija Jackson said she still believes her son, Tae-Ahn Lea was racially profiled. Body cam footage was released but Jackson tells WAVE 3 News it still doesn’t bring any sense of closure to their family. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

On Monday, Jackson spoke with WAVE 3 News and still insists he never was a criminal. She still demands an apology and answers.

“Two years with the body cam footage, it should’ve been open [and] shut,” Jackson said. “Last update, we did an open records request, the outcome of the investigation and we were told they’re still investigating – that was about a week ago.”

One of the officers involved in the traffic stop is no longer employed with LMPD, and Chief Steve Conrad has since been fired.

Metro Council is set to vote on a transparency measure on Thursday. Jackson says she expects each Council member to think of their situation and many others like it in the community

“It’s a time frame, we don’t wait two years, we will have closure sooner than later,” Jackson said.

Jackson is proud of Lea, who is now a successful salesman at a local car dealership. She said despite the traumatizing traffic stop incident, he has carried on strongly.

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