Uniondale fire chief says son racially profiled for driving Porsche

UNIONDALE, Long Island (WABC) -- An angry father on Long Island is speaking out after he says police followed his son into their home after he pulled into their driveway in a Porsche.

Richard Harris is the African-American fire commissioner in Uniondale, and he believes his 17-year-old son was a victim of racial profiling.

"I got to worry about gangs in the street, and now, I have to worry about police?" he said. "A young black male has to jump through hoops to get home safe."

His son is home from college and was driving a Porsche that belongs to his aunt, who is a Hempstead District Court judge. The stress of it all caused Harris to suffer a minor heart attack Tuesday.

"I was actually crying tears of anger," he said. "I couldn't sleep that night."

Harris was so desperate to share what happened to his son that he had Eyewitness News reporter Kristin Thorne meet with him at his hospital bedside, and he showed surveillance video from his home that captured the incident on June 22.

It shows his son pulling into the driveway and going into the house, and about 40 seconds later, two Nassau County sheriff's officers show up.

"They come to the back gate and demand him out of the house," Harris said. "They say, 'Who's car is this?' 'It's my car. My aunt lent it to me.' They said, 'We don't believe you. Come out and show us identification.'"

They issued his son a speeding ticket.

"I always trained him, you comply," Harris said. "You say, 'Yes, sir. No, sir.' They'll see you have home training. If you're right or wrong, we'll work it out later...He did what I asked him to do, and I felt I had an obligation to figure this out."

Harris and his son met with investigators from the Sheriff's Department Wednesday, and Harris is now trying to do damage control with his son.

"He wants to be FBI," he said. "He's schedule to take NYPD this summer, state trooper in October, and correction at the end of the month."

The sheriff's office did not return phone calls by Eyewitness News. Harris said the commissioner told him they are looking into dismissing his son's ticket. He says he would like to see the officers disciplined.
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.