Woman says she was racially profiled

By Jennifer Bauer - Reporter

HOUSTON - Vickie Dowell said she was enjoying a quiet Saturday doing errands with her two daughters when she noticed cop lights in her rear-view mirror.

Dowell pulled over near the intersection of Bammel North Houston and Torrey Chase, in northwest Harris County, and said a female deputy with the Harris County Sheriff's Office got of her patrol car as well. 

"She got out of the car with her gun, literally, and was like, 'Put your hands up so I can see them!'" Dowell said.

Dowell said quickly several more patrol cars surrounded her SUV and demanded she get out. 

"I'm standing there in the middle of the street with my hands raised, my children in the car.  What if they had opened the door suddenly?" asked Dowell. "I could have been shot. My kids could have been shot. It wasn't one cop, it was a couple and all of them with their guns drawn."

It turned out to be a case of mistaken identity. 

"They were looking for an African-American woman with two adult passengers in an older model Expedition or station wagon with paper tags and a shattered rear window.  I didn't have any of that," said Dowell, who was driving a 2013 white Chevy Tahoe. 

Dowell wonders if she was racially profiled and is now questioning the practices of the Harris County Sheriff's Office.

"The only thing I match is being an African American female," she said. "I think they need to think about what they're doing."

Dowell has filed a complaint with the Harris County Sheriff's Office internal affairs department.

In a statement, the Sheriff's Office told Local 2, "The Harris County Sheriff's Office has a duty to pursue and investigate all credible leads regarding individuals suspected in criminal activity. That is our job and that is what the citizens expect of us."

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