Black family leaves Fishers after man says he was racially profiled by police

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FISHERS, Ind. -- A local father says it was time to move his family away from predominately white community where he felt his black family wasn't welcomed.

Last month, Chris Sullivan says he was returning home from the gym in the Britton Ridge subdivision in Fishers when police approached him about a domestic disturbance call. He says police shined their light on him and asked what he was doing there. During the encounter, he was asked to show his ID and that's when he says things escalated.

"At this point I have my red bag on my shoulder bag with my basketball in it and shoes and I say, ‘Hey, it's in here,’ like this gesture and he does one of these like hand on his gun and that's when I slide out of my bag ‘excuse me’ and I put my hands up and he says, ‘Well, we're going to have to search you,’" Sullivan said.

Although police were looking for a white male with a specific name, Sullivan says he became the suspect.

"He makes me call my wife to prove that she's not home that she's fine."

This wasn't the family's first unpleasant encounter in the Britton Ridge subdivision. Back in July, Sullivan discovered an anonymous letter in his mailbox complaining about his lawn, calling it ghetto and trashy. But this time, a run in with police was the final straw.

"After that I knew it was time to go, because if I can't pull up to my house and walk in at 11 p.m. by myself then there's an issue. There's a profiling issue especially when the description said a white male and I'm clearly a little darker than that," Sullivan said.

Chris says it wasn't until the end of the search when an officer asked his name and realized they were looking for the neighbor across the street.

"She says, 'Well we got the wrong guy.’ I say, ‘Well, I bet.’ They go over there two minutes well he's going to leave the house he's fine over there. He didn't search him, he didn't pat him down, he didn't do anything," Sullivan said.

The family moved the next day.

"You see about all these problems going on in the world but the bigger picture is how we can stop it on a smaller level. How could we bridge that gap with people of color, white people just bringing that togetherness so my job now here is to promote that conversation."

Fishers police tell us they are not commenting on the incident, because Sullivan hasn’t filed a formal complaint with the department. However, a Fishers police spokesperson told our newsgathering partners at the Indy Star it appears the officers acted properly.

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