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Thursday, May 13, 2010

Kevin Parks Ponders Filing Racial Profiling Suit Against North Carolina (DWB)

N.C. High School Football Player Challenges Arrest, Considers Filing Civil Rights Lawsuit Against N.C.

A Black N.C. Star High School Football player is challenging the charges against him, stemming from a run-in with N.C. deputies that ended up with the player being stunned with a Taser.

West Rowan High School running back Kevin Parks and his attorney, Ken Harris, are also conducting their own investigation into what happened.

They're hoping to find answers to what they say are several unanswered questions and see whether their findings constitute enough to proceed with a civil lawsuit.

Parks, who goes by KP, never met an end zone he couldn't reach in a flash while running over defenders.

"59 touchdowns this year," he said.

That's just one of his many football records.

Others include being named to the 2010 Parade All-American Team as well as the Old Spice Red Zone National Player of the Year. That prowess earned Parks a football scholarship to Virginia.

But it's another record Parks is fighting, which includes accusations of improper passing, following too closely and resisting a public officer.

"I was feeling like -- is this really happening right now?" Parks said, referring to an incident two weeks ago in Davie County.

"This day started with him traveling to see a friend. It ended up with him Tased and unconscious," said Harris.

Investigators say Parks was driving too closely to an off-duty trooper, who was on his motorcycle with his wife, and then Parks passed the motorcycle in a no-passing zone on Highway 601 in Davie County.

Plus, police say Parks' car was weaving and the trooper suspected impairment.

That trooper followed Parks until he stopped. Help arrived to take Parks into custody. Investigators say that's when an argument ensued and Parks was stunned with a Taser.

Parks isn't talking about the arrest, but Harris says there are plenty of questions his investigation hopes to answer.

"Whether or not Mr. Parks should have been stopped in the first place, whether or not he engaged in any traffic violation to begin with, whether or not he should have been restrained, whether or not he should have been arrested, whether or not he should have been Tased," Harris said.

Harris says other issues includes Parks' Taser injury and when the off-duty, non-uniformed officer flashed a badge.

"Is it shown 8 miles after you follow someone?" Harris said. "The mere showing of a badge doesn't give you license to do whatever you want to do."

Since Parks' arrest, investigators now say Parks was not impaired, even though that's what they suspected.

Parks hasn't filed a civil suit, but Harris says that could change depending upon what their investigation finds.

Highway Patrol officials say the trooper was doing his job -- on or off duty -- and did what he felt was right.

They also say Parks likely is an outstanding young man, but in their words, they "arrest outstanding young men all the time."

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Sources: WCNC, Google Maps

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