Former D.C. mayoral candidate Sulaimon Brown, who accused aides to then-candidate Vincent Gray of trying to buy his support, said he was stopped by police in the District early Monday and charged with driving on a suspended Maryland license and failure to obey.
Brown said police also issued him a $75 ticket because his vehicle had a broken headlight. D.C. police confirmed that Brown had been stopped, questioned and given a citation.
The broken headlight apparently prompted a police stop in the 600 block of Florida Avenue NW at around 1 a.m., said Brown, who said he was on his way home after celebrating his sister’s birthday.
Brown said he saw lights but heard no siren from an unmarked police vehicle. He said he pulled over. He said three or four people came out of the car. They appeared to be officers, he said, but they were wearing black.
“Where are you coming from? Where are you going?” Brown said they asked.
A police spokesman on duty early Monday said he did not have details of Brown’s arrest, and could not confirm what was said. Brown, in an interview, provided the following account:
After giving the officers his license and registration, an officer returned and told him to step out of the vehicle. Brown said he asked for a reason and was not given one. He then demanded a marked police vehicle and a supervisor, and rolled up all the windows. Police tapped on the window, and one officer drew her weapon, he said.
Brown said he called 911. He said the dispatcher told him there was no record of the traffic stop.
She said, “Just stay in the car.”
Brown said he then saw another officer pull up, wearing a vest with stripes. He said he told the dispatcher, “I think the official is here.”
But he said the dispatcher said that was not the supervisor.
According to Brown, the vested officer said: “I am an official. Don’t you see these stripes? ...He said, ‘Oh, you’re the guy who tried to get the mayor arrested. We definitely have to arrest you now.’ ”
Another officer showed up and had on a uniform. Brown said that officer was “belligerent,” and he tried to explain why he did not immediately cooperate.
“You guys pull up, you’re wearing all black. There were no sirens. Nothing...You expect me to get out of the car in the middle of the night? No.”
Brown said his Mercedes Benz 300 was impounded. He would not give the year of the car.
Brown, who has had several run-ins with law enforcement through the years, said the officers were concerned about a “police parking permit” he had in his glove compartment.
Brown once worked as a District auxiliary police officer. He said he was a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. But the document, he said, was not a parking permit. “It was a gift shop purchase,” he said.
Asked why he had a Maryland license, Brown said, “What difference does it make? I’m not going to drive without one.”
Brown is scheduled to appear in Superior Court later this week on the D.C. Council’s efforts to subpoena his records in a special committee’s probe of the hiring practices of Gray’s administration.
Brown has responded by letter, explaining that he gave the records to the FBI at the request of the U.S. Attorney’s Office under Grand Jury subpoena.
Maggie Fazeli Fard contributed to this report.