Couple claims they were profiled by HPD officer in Tanglewood neighborhood

A couple driving around in a Tanglewood neighborhood looking for new home ideas says they were pulled over and racially profiled by a Houston Police officer.

HOUSTON – An engaged couple who were house hunting in a Tanglewood subdivision on Friday say they were profiled, frisked and harassed by a Houston Police officer. 

The guard involved is a Houston Police sergeant who is now under investigation. The couple filed internal affairs complaints in March.

Now four months later, they are taking their story public.

William Young is a pastor and his fiancé, Deandrea Washington, is a lawyer. Their wedding is in November and so, they are frequent house hunters.

“I have my style that I like,” Washington said. “Will has his style that he likes. We’re trying to meet in the middle.”

While riding through a Tanglewood neighborhood looking for home ideas, they claim a neighborhood patrol SUV followed them and turned on his flashing lights.

“I looked at (Washington) and said so what is he doing now,” Young said. “So I look in the mirror and I wait for at least about a minute.”

He was uncomfortable stopping on the stretch Tanglewood Road where lighting was poor and he was unsure about who was stopping them and why. So Young steered his vehicle onto San Felipe. They said the patrol SUV chased them.

The couple eventually stopped outside a bank. They said they couldn't believe what happened next.

“(The officer) said 'I’m HPD,'” Young said. “'When I say get out of the car, you get out of the car and you stop.' I looked over to my fiancé and said 'Get your phone out and record this.'”

“The officer tells me or yells 'You do understand why that’s not a good idea. There’s been enough shootings already.'” Washington said.

They claim Sgt. Jeff Headley, a Houston Police officer, also frisked Young outside the car, asked for his social security number, questioned Washington’s law pedigree and even suggested the couple could not afford homes in the area.

“He said 'They tried to offer me a house there and I couldn’t afford it,'” Young said. “'So, I don’t know how you guys could possibly think about living there.'”

An HPD spokesperson told KHOU 11 News the couple filed profiling and harassment complaints with internal affairs. The department is investigating. Sgt. Headley remains on active duty.

“I was fearful for our lives,” said Washington.

While the couple wants Headley held accountable, they hope no one else gets the treatment they received.

© 2017 KHOU-TV


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