NC couple who accused trooper of racial profiling awarded over $1.3 million

CHARLESTON, SC (WBTW)- A North Carolina couple who says they were arrested because a South Carolina highway patrolman racially profiled them during a traffic stop in Florence have been awarded more than $1.3 million.

According to court documents, the incident happened on October 14, 2012, when Catherine and Jerome Newkirk, who are both African American, were travelling on I-95 near Florence and were pulled over by a Caucasian officer.

The complaint says the car was traveling through a construction zone where a line of three or four other cars were all traveling the same speed when the couple noticed they were being followed by a SC Highway Patrol car with its blue lights on.

The documents say Catherine Newkirk was ticketed for speeding and when she was handed the ticket, she told trooper James Enzor that she felt like he was discriminating against her. The trooper took the ticket from Newkirk and ordered her to get out of the vehicle and when she exited the vehicle, the trooper pinned her against the car and placed her under arrest for resisting arrest.

Her husband, Jerome, got out of the car to see what was going on and was also placed under arrest for hindering a police officer.

After four years, the couple got their day in court. Catherine was awarded $1 million in damages and Jerome was awarded $325,000  in damages.