A Black Massachusetts man has accused the Worcester Police Department of racial profiling, saying he has been stopped by officers dozens of times in the last decade.
TJ Juty of Worcester started recording the traffic stops on his cellphone. The videos don't capture the whole story, but his lawyer, Joseph Hennessey, argues they show enough to counter the narrative in police reports.
This month, the court disagreed, denying his motion to dismiss some charges against his client. Now, he's working to prove a pattern in a larger civil rights lawsuit.
In one encounter with police Juty recorded in 2020, an officer is heard telling him, "You look like someone who has a warrant and we need to confirm or deny it."
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"Three of us were all Black in the car, and then, out of nowhere, cops just run up to the car, they just run up to the window," Juty recalled. "He's asking me, 'Oh, what's your name, you look like you got a warrant.'"
The video shows officers ask him to get out of the car and search him.
After about half an hour, they let him go, telling him he is not the man they were looking for.
"This has been going on since I turned 18," he said.
He says police have stopped and questioned him dozens of times.
"A lot of the stops that happened to me, I never actually documented," Juty said. "I started recording, honestly, because of my own safety."
In November, the Department of Justice announced an investigation to assess whether the Worcester Police Department engages in a pattern or practice of excessive force or engages in discriminatory policing based on race or sex.
"If we can see that these cops are being held accountable for their actions, it's going to speak volumes to the community," Juty said.
NBC10 Boston reached out to the Worcester Police Department for a response to the allegations. A spokesperson said that per policy, the department does not comment on pending litigation.