Robinson was in uniform driving an unmarked police cruiser last March when two other KCPD officers pulled him over. Despite being a police officer Robinson told the Kansas City Star he was terrified by the situation, calling it the most frightening he’s ever encountered.
“I might have been taken down to the ground. I might have been shot,” Robinson said. “I might have reached in my car to get my ID to prove (that he was a police officer) and been shot.”
Herb Robinson is a 30-year veteran of the Kansas City Police Department and was actually wearing his police uniform and driving a police vehicle when he was pulled over. The two officers, Cole Modeer, who is white, and Marco Olivas, who is Hispanic, are accused of giving inaccurate statements about what occurred during the traffic stop.
Robinson, 59, a detective at the time in the police department’s violent crimes intelligence squad, was heading to an off-duty job and was southbound on Blue Ridge Boulevard, on the outskirts of Kansas City into Raytown. Robinson is still employed by the department.
His petition alleges the traffic stop was unlawful and caused him to experience fear, anxiety, hostility, intimidation, mental anguish and emotional distress. The lawsuit, which seeks a jury trial and monetary damages, names Modeer, Olivas and members of the Kansas City Board of Police Commissioners, which oversees the force.
“If they treat one of their own this way, I’m afraid to see how they are treating minorities who are not cops,” Gerald Gray, an attorney representing Robinson, said Thursday. “Certainly unacceptable.”
Modeer and Olivas during the 2021 traffic stop. Both of the officers can be heard calling Robinson a “dumbass” and “retard” once they let him go.
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Modeer and Olivas lacked any justification, reasonable suspicion or probable cause to detain or arrest Robinson, the lawsuit said.
The officers closely followed Robinson for just over a mile as he drove from Kansas City into Raytown.
The men made racially hostile and derogatory remarks toward Robinson, according to the lawsuit. Furthermore, Robinson never posed any threat to Modeer and Olivas, who had no justification for their actions, according to the lawsuit.
Robinson reported the traffic stop to those above him at the Kansas City Police Department, but they did nothing about it. No interviews, investigations or questioning.