By Marda Johnson The Lebanon Reporter
---- — More than four years after Roy White and his friend were arrested by a Whitestown police officer as they dozed in their car at a Boone County gas station, White is still struggling with the events of that night.
After years of court dates, White gave up on the court battle and agreed to the diversion. But he has never stopped trying to clear his name.
White, 49, and his friend, Theodis Chapman, 44, are both African American. White lives in Chicago and Chapman lives Markim, Ill. Both men tried to fight the charges but ultimately pleaded guilty to public intoxication charges by agreeing to the diversion program, but both maintain they should never been arrested and that they were victims of revenue policing — and possibly racial profiling — on the night they stopped to rest on their way home from the Circle City Classic, a huge football event between historically black colleges.
White and Chapman brought their story to The Lebanon Reporter last fall, after complaints to every entity from the Civil Liberties Union to the FBI failed to help them in their quest to prove their claims that they were treated unfairly during and after their arrests Oct. 5, 2008, by a Whitestown officer at the Marathon gas station on Crane Drive.
Since their 2008 arrests, White has kept track of the police log printed on The Reporter’s web site, making special note of what he sees as a pattern of arrests of people from outside of Boone County for driving while intoxicated, moving violations or public intoxication. He alleges that at least some departments — and specifically Whitestown — are deliberately targeting black out-of-towners.
“Growing up I heard people say there are places on the highway that you don’t stop at; Boone County is one of those places,” White said.
Whitestown Police Chief Dennis Anderson declined to comment specifically about the arrests of White and Chapman or the Whitestown officer who made the arrests, but he did defend his officers saying the department does not profile and explained the process that goes into making a traffic stop. (See related story, this page.)
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