Judge: Racial profiling led to illegal arrest of ex-Hawk Mike Scott 

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Judge: Racial profiling led to illegal arrest of ex-Hawk Mike Scott 

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Mike Scott and his brother Antonn were driving up I-85 in Banks County when a sheriff's deputy stopped them. The deputy's account of the stop is now in dispute. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Ruling that former Atlanta Hawks player Mike Scott and his brother were the targets of racial profiling, a judge this week threw out the key evidence against them in a drug case.

Scott and his brother, Antonn, were arrested in Banks County in July 2015 after a county sheriff’s deputy pulled them over and searched their rented SUV. The search turned up marijuana, ecstasy and $1,684 in cash that Scott had with him.

The deputy, who has been placed on administrative leave, was accused of taking part in a forfeiture scheme in which deputies pulled over motorists on a pretext and then searched their cars, confiscating cash and contraband.

“He’s not out there to enforce the traffic laws,” Billy Healan, attorney for Scott, said of the deputy in the Scott case, Brent Register. “He’s out there to shake people down for drugs and money.”

According to records compiled by the defense, Deputy Register pulled over more than 1,400 vehicles in 2015 and 2016 but issued only eight traffic citations. He also arrested 47 people, at least 44 of whom were minorities.

Banks County Superior Court Judge Currie Mingledorff found that Register was racially profiling drivers. He also found that the Scotts’ account of the traffic stop was more credible than the deputy’s account. 

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