Chapman Student Who Says He Was Racially Profiled Beats Traffic Ticket

Domenick Sevor holding his “notice to appear” in the Chatham Superior Court, where, he says, he beat a costly speeding ticket. His name and license plate number have been redacted to preserve his privacy. Photo by Amir Ghani.

A Chatsworth traffic court has dismissed a $400 speeding ticket issued to a Chapman sophomore who believed he was racially profiled, according to the student.

On Monday, a judge dismissed the ticket issued by a California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer who also accused communications major Domenick Sevor of following him for eight miles on I-5 South before stopping him in Grapevine on August 23, 2018, Sevor said.

The motorcycle officer had written on the ticket that Sevor had been following him on the freeway for eight miles and was going 80 miles in a 65 miles-per-hour zone.

“It didn’t make sense [to the judge] that I was exceeding the speed limit and following an officer,” Sevor said.

Sevor – who was driving his Honda Civic full of personal belongings to Chapman Grand in advance of the fall semester, suspected he wasn’t really being stopped for speeding.

“I was racially profiled,” Sevor said. “There was no real reason for the officer to stop me.”

Sevor said he did not share his suspicions with the judge but instead argued that he was driving the presumed speed for safety reasons. The judge, he said, seemed to agree that he could not be simultaneously following an officer and speeding.

“I believed I was going to beat the case the whole time. I was relieved,” Sevor said.

CHP did not respond to a voicemail left on its press line requesting comment.

The process cost Sevor class time – he’s had to go to court twice in Chatsworth, which is more than two hours away from Chapman – and wear on his car and gave him a newfound sympathy for others trying to prove their innocence.

“It’s a long process that just kept getting dragged on. I can only imagine what someone with a serious case has to go through,” he said.

Sevor said he received an unexpected fame of sorts after Prowl published a story about his case on April 2.

One young woman recognized him at a Dodge mixer and told him, “it’s good that you’re standing up for something important.”

Amir Ghani

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