"What if [our kids] would have got out of the car and started to run because they were scared?" Christopher Barbour asked.
DALLAS –- A family from Forney say they plan to file a civil lawsuit against that city after a controversial traffic stop last month.
Dash-cam video captured officers approaching a car with their guns drawn, then handcuffing Kametra Barbour. Four children were in the car.
In one segment of the video, Barbour — who appeared to be visibly frightened — asked police, "Sir, what is going on? Oh my God. you are terrifying my children!"
The dramatic video has been going viral across social media for days.
"I said 'Lord, please don't let them shoot me in front of my children,'" Barbour said to a group of community members during a news conference the family called on Tuesday. "That's what I asked right then, and I prayed that they would not."
Barbour said she is still emotional from the August 9 traffic stop. She and her husband, Christopher, who works as a Dallas firefighter, held a news conference Tuesday morning. The couple said they are demanding answers from Forney police, whose officers were dispatched to find a different car the night in question.
"It's going to be a beige- or tan-colored Toyota occupied by four black males," a dispatch operator could be heard telling police in an audio recording WFAA-TV obtained from the city of Forney.
Instead, police pulled over Barbour's burgundy Nissan Maxima that night.
"What if our kids would not have followed her directions and remained in the car?" Christopher Barbour asked. "What if they would have got out of the car and started to run because they were scared?"
Forney police, whose department has 18 full-time officers, none of whom are African-American, has gone on record calling the traffic stop a "regrettable situation."
City Manager Brian Brooks said recruiting a diverse group of officers has been a challenge in that city.
"We recognize that an apology has been given; however, the apology is hollow," said Dr. Frederick Haynes III, pastor of Friendship West Baptist Church in Dallas.
He stood with the Barbour family and their attorney during the news conference. The group said it is urging Forney police to make changes. They are calling for the department to:
- begin racial sensitivity training
- to use an independent civilian review board to handle police misconduct
- to recruit and retain African-American police officers
"To get up and say that they felt that procedure had been followed, then your procedure needs to change," Haynes said. "Because your procedure says, 'Well, we don't have four black men here. Any black body will do.' That's an insult, and that's offensive."
Brooks said the city of Forney has received no complaints regarding racial injustice or creating an environment of distrust. Brooks said he would invite the Barbours and concerned community members to be proactive and sit down with city leaders to talk about other issues.