Was Frank Clark Racially Profiled? LAPD Won’t Disclose Specific Reason for June Stop of Clark’s Lamborghini.
After multiple messages to its public information officer, an email to its communications team and a formal public information request, the LAPD will still not reveal the “unspecified vehicle code violation” that formed the basis for the police department stopping Kansas City Chief’s Frank Clark back in June when he was driving his Lamborghini. Police say they spotted an uzi inside the car in plain view but that fact is also being contested according to sources. At least two people familiar with the situation tell League of Justice it’s possible that Clark was racially profiled and pulled over because he was a black man inside an expensive luxury vehicle.
Clark’s attorney will not comment on the situation. The NFL defensive end is now facing a felony charge for gun possession in connection with a March incident, several months earlier, where he was pulled over by California’s Highway Patrol. He now faces two gun possession cases in the state.
The assault weapons ban in California is among the strictest in the country. Prosecutors have a choice of charging gun possession as a felony or a misdemeanor, also known as a wobbler charge. However, likely due to Clark being pulled over twice in a matter of months, they chose the more serious felony charge for the March incident which carries up to three years in prison.
Clark still has not been charged in connection with the June incident and a public information request for the “unspecified vehicle code violation” was denied on the basis that the records are “investigative records or properly part of an investigatory file.” The factual circumstances of the arrest are listed as “Newton Division patrol officers conducted a traffic stop and discovered a firearm in the vehicle. The subject was placed under arrest for 25400(A)1PC, which relates to the charge of carrying a concealed firearm.
Clark’s attorney has already raised one defense claiming the uzi belonged to Clark’s security guard who was allegedly in the car. This is easy to prove if so, through tracing ownership of the weapon. This defense could help Clark if he can prove he was not in actual possession of the gun and the security guard was.
However, if there was no legit reason to pull Clark over, then the entire charge can also be challenged as part of Clark’s defense over whether there was a reasonable search and seizure. There needs to be probable cause to pull Clark over and search his vehicle. Sources say, the weapon may not have been in plain view as officers claimed. Furthermore, he was charged with carrying a concealed firearm but it was allegedly in plain view, so which was it? Concealed or in the open?
Clark was arrested on June 21, then booked and released after posting $35,000 bail.
With regard to the felony charge he is facing for the March incident, Clark can petition a Judge to reduce the charge to a misdemeanor, a legal maneuver that’s unique to California’s wobbler charges for gun possession. However, there are no guarantees that he would succeed.
In the state of California, assault weapons including, uzis, AK-47s, bushmasters, AR-15s and any type of semi-automatic rifle are all banned by the California Assault Weapons Control Act. Interestingly, a California Federal Judge found back in June that the state’s assault weapons ban violated the Second Amendment and overturned it but the state is appealing that ruling and assault weapons remain illegal until the appeal is decided.
Clark does have a criminal history, which complicates things. He was arrested in 2014 and accused of domestic violence. The incident led to him being kicked off the Univ. of Michigan football team.
Clark is a standout for the Chiefs, having made the Pro Bowl twice with the team and is currently in the middle of a 5-year, $104 million dollar contract.
Clark has not been placed on paid leave which is usually not required by the NFL when it comes to gun possession charges. Placement on the Commissioner’s Exempt List is automatic when charges or indictments are announced in relation to accusations of domestic violence, sexual assault or other violent crimes.
If Clark is able to settle the matters through a plea deal, the NFL may choose a light suspension or no suspension at all. In the meantime, he is expected to play.
We have reached out to the LAPD again asking for a comment in response to the possibility that Clark was racially profiled. So far no word back.