Reno man files racial profiling suit against police
RENO, Nev. (AP) – A Reno man who accused police of holding him at gunpoint because he is black has filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against the city of Reno and several police officers.
Avon Holmes, 46, earlier took a complaint to the city council about the incident at a Reno grocery store parking lot in February. He’s seeking more than $10,000 in damages.
Holmes said the officers held him and his wife, Jennifer, at gunpoint, used obscenities and made him crawl 40 feet across a parking lot.
The police department conducted an internal investigation and cleared the officers of any wrongdoing. A security guard at the Albertson’s store had called police after hearing a loud bang he thought was a gunshot but turned out to be a car backfiring.
Holmes said in the lawsuit that his civil rights were violated. He said he was targeted because he is black. He said it is part of a pattern of discrimination he has suffered at the hands of Reno police.
”What happened to Avon Holmes is unsupportable,” said Terri Keyser-Cooper, Holmes’ lawyer.
”A white person entering Albertson’s in identical circumstances would never be a suspect,” she told the Sparks Tribune.
Reno Deputy Police Chief Jim Weston said the allegations are ”absolutely ridiculous.
”It’s all been investigated – the officers have been cleared. We didn’t find any evidence that we’re targeting black people,” he said.
Weston said Holmes refused to cooperate with police in their follow-up investigation. He said officers discovered that Holmes was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant from Oakland, Calif, for impersonating a police officer and carrying a loaded gun in a public place.
Holmes also had an arrest warrant for harassment in a case reported in December by a Reno woman, who claimed he threatened to kill her over an incident at a grocery store.
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