Music producer DJ Speedy was driving through Oklahoma City on Thursday, Dec. 13, when an Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office deputy stopped him as the DJ made the cross-country trek from his home in Atlanta to his home in Los Angeles.
The musician, whose real name is Harvey Miller, says it was an incident of racial profiling.
Court documents obtained by KOCO-TV say Miller was pulled over for failing to signal a lane change a full 100 feet beforehand.
“I was racially profiled. Plain as day. No way around it,” Miller says in the Dec. 18 report.”He went in with the questions of, ‘Where are you going? What’s in your car?’ and all that stuff.”
The deputy was doubtful about the DJ’s story, according to an arrest affidavit.
“Then, he asked me can he search my vehicle,” Miller said of the Dec. 13 incident. “‘No, you can’t search my vehicle. What warrants you to search my vehicle?'”
The deputy called a K-9 unit to the scene on Interstate 40 near Interstate 44. While the dog alerted authorities to possible drugs in the vehicle, none were actually located. What they did find, however, was $149,000 in cash. It’s what the DJ, who has worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Drake and JAY-Z, earns as a producer. They also claimed the car smelled like marijuana.
“I’ve never used drugs. I’m not drinking. I wasn’t speeding. I wasn’t doing nothing,” Miller says. “You have nothing on me except I have money. I’m black, I have money.”
Police arrested Miller on charges of possession of drug proceeds and possession of a forged counterfeit note after officers discovered a bogus $20 bill. After spending 12 hours in jail, authorities let him go. But the producer wants his nearly $150,000 returned and his record cleared.
“I want to be exonerated from all this,” Miller says.
Despite his claims of racial profiling, a statement issued from the Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office said in part, “We absolutely do not racially profile individuals pulled over. The vast majority of the people we pull over are Caucasian. The numbers we see are in line with the makeup of the population of Oklahoma County.”
Miller has run afoul of a controversial legal doctrine known as civil forfeiture, where law enforcement authorities seize property as being suspected of being the product of illicit activity. Individuals are then forced to go to civil court and, in the opposite of the presumption of innocence, prove that their property was obtained through legal means. When authorities prevail in the cases that actually make it to court, they are allowed to keep the proceeds of the seizures for their own use, a practice which heavily incentivizes “policing for profit.” Oklahoma historically has targeted Blacks and Latinos for such seizures.
The DJ continues to make his story known. He tweeted Tuesday, “SAD SAD TIME IN AMERICA!! No matter how much money you got your still black!! # #racialjustice #racialprofiling #yesme #thisfinallyhappenedtome #speedyyourafoolforthisone.”