MADISON, Miss. (WJTV) – One driver pulled over by Madison County deputies Friday night ended up with another man’s driver’s license who was stopped by the same deputy an hour before.
The second driver stopped also received a ticket with the name of the first driver stopped on it.
Both drivers are teaming up to seek legal action against the sheriff’s office because at the center of this they see the issue as racial profiling plus harassment from deputies at the second stop.
A little after 10:00 p.m. Friday night Rodrucus Ross was heading from Dallas up to Canton to visit family. As he drove through Ridgeland on I-55 north. He says an unmarked SUV soon got behind him as he changed lanes. Then turned on its lights as he approached Madison.
“Called 9-1-1 to dispatch to inform them I was getting pulled over by a cop and could they tell them that I was going to be pulling over by the Wal-Mart or Shell Station on the corner,” Ross told us. “By the time I made the right and cop cars were everywhere.”
He says things escalated from that point.
“I was drug out and they asked if I had any drugs in the car, any weapons, and where I was coming from,” Ross continued. “They asked to search and I said yeah you can search the vehicle. He came back and said you almost got shot because I have a five-year-old daughter at home to go to.”
Ross says deputies found nothing illegal but wrote him a ticket for an illegal lane change. The problem is the ticket was in someone else’s name and he was handed that person’s driver’s license. Adding deputies never asked him for his ID or registration in a Facebook post afterward.
“I don’t know who this is, I’ve never seen this person a day in my life,” Ross continued in a Facebook post after the stop. “Then he wrote me a ticket for somebody and the tickets not even in my name.”
That name on the ticket and driver’s license belonged to Tarmario Sumler of Jackson. The same deputy stopped him an hour earlier.
“He followed me up to Wal-Mart on County Line and that’s where he pulled me over and just told me I had my seat back too far and wanted to see if I had my seatbelt on or not,” Sumler said. “He asked me to step out of the car and search my car, he asked for my ID. He didn’t find anything so I left and realized I didn’t have my ID.”
Attorney Edward Blackmon is now representing both men. He settled a racial profiling suit against Madison County before and he’s not ruling out a class action this time.
“In accordance with that settlement was a decree of reforms to take place with the department,” Attorney Blackmond stated. “So we will also be examining whether those actions by those deputies violate that.”
Both men had never met before this, however, their families sat down with the sheriff’s department Monday morning for any explanation but say it didn’t go anywhere. We reached out to the Madison County Sheriffs Department for comment but as of now haven’t heard back.