A Farrell man who said he’s had problems in the past with police in the city complained to council Monday about a traffic stop the day after Christmas that left him facing a fine.

Carminal Craig, 43, of 118 Fruit Ave., was cited for disorderly conduct and faces a $428 fine after a traffic stop that he disputes.

It’s something he said he’s seen before.

“I’ve been there 19 years ago,” he said of 1990, when he filed a complaint of being assaulted by a Farrell cop.

“This has to stop,” he said of what he termed the “profiling” that led to the traffic stop. He said he “can’t help it” that he has family and friends who live in the bad area of Farrell that’s targeted by police because of drug-related and other criminal activity.

This time, Craig said, he was leaving 1050 Hamilton Ave., and when he pulled from his curbside parking spot, a Southwest Mercer County Regional Police car appeared from behind, and stopped him. Soon, another cruiser arrived, Craig said.

Craig said he cooperated with the police and let his family know that he was pulled over while the cop was running his license and registration. Family members arrived, and after the cop gave Craig a warning for failing to signal when he left the parking spot, Craig noticed police using “loud voices” and restraining his cousin across the street.

Both Craig and his cousin, whom he didn’t identify, were cited for disorderly conduct, and about 10 days later he received the ticket that he said he’s hired a lawyer to help him fight.

Craig said he has tried and tried to complain to police administrators to no avail and he “never heard back from” Southwest Chief Riley Smoot.

He told council he sent letters detailing his problem to Gov. Ed Rendell, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and to local ministers.

There’ve been other similar problems with police, responded Mayor Olive Brown-McKeithan.

“Do the police have to cuss people out?” Mrs. McKeithan asked. “Other incidents have happened.”

The city’s representatives on the regional police commission, councilmen Lou Falconi and Robert Burich, said they will take up the issue when the commission meets next month.

“At this point that’s all we can do,” Burich said.

Smoot wasn’t at the meeting and wasn’t available for comment Monday night.

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