NAACP, Bellaire officials set up hotline

February 10, 2009 10:12:04 AM PST
The NAACP discussed the outcome of a meeting with Bellaire city officials about possible racial profiling by the city's police. This stems from the New Year's Eve shooting of 23-year-old Robbie Tolan. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The parents of Tolan, 23, believe his shooting by a Bellaire police officer was a case of racial profiling. NAACP officials say that the Bellaire Police Department, as well as the city, has been very cooperative. They've now set up a partnership with the city and police department to have a hotline so that if anyone that wants to file a complaint against the city can call in to do so.

It was back on New Year's Eve when Tolan, a Bellaire resident, was shot by a Bellaire police officer. The officer suspected Tolan in being in a stolen SUV. The vehicle was not stolen and the officer didn't wait for correct information from dispatchers to confronted Tolan.

All of this took place in Tolan's driveway in front of his parents. His is the only African-American family in the neighborhood.

The NAACP has met with Bellaire officials and even though a racial profiling study is being done, the organization and Tolan's attorney feel the study will be skewed due to intimidation factors. They are now asking anyone who wants to file a complaint to call the organization's new hotline.

"I think that all of us will agree that the Tolan tragedy has really shined a light on what for many people has been the worst kept secret in Harris County," said Dr. D.Z. Cosield, Vice President for NAACP Houston Branch. "So what we are trying to do now is legitimize those complaints, legitimize those perceptions and if they are not legitimate, then we want to help Bellaire to be at least seen as the city that want to be."

The number to cal is 713-526-3389 or you can stop by the NAACP office at 2002 Wheeler Avenue.

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