Martin had traffic violations

December 12, 1991

Sadiq Martin's fatal confrontation with Baltimore County police last September was not the first time he refused to stop his car when ordered to do so by uniformed officers.

Last May 16, Martin led police on a high-speed chase through Baltimore. City police said they used a helicopter to keep track of Martin as he drove his mother's 1988 Dodge Raider in excess of 90 mph.

Martin was driving the Raider on Sept. 23 when he was killed by a county officer responding to an alleged car break-in outside Woodlawn High School.

In the May 16 incident, Martin was charged with speeding down Northern Parkway toward the Jones Falls Expressway, with attempting to elude uniformed police and with giving officers a false name when he finally was stopped by a police barricade of the expressway at 1 a.m.

Martin was arrested and released after his mother came to the station house.

At the time of Martin's death, his driver's license had been suspended for nearly a month, and he was due to appear in court on traffic violation charges in October.

Previously, his license was suspended for two weeks last July and for four days in December 1989.

Martin was stopped by police eight times between May 1989 and June 1991, including five times for speeding, according to Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration and District Court records. Three of the speeding tickets were for driving 79 mph or faster.

Baltimore County police spokesman E. Jay Miller said county investigators did not disclose Martin's "poor driving record" for fear of tainting an investigation by a county grand jury.

On Oct. 21, the grand jury ruled that Martin's killing was justified because the policeman who shot him felt his life was threatened.

Hubert Martin, a state correctional officer, discounted the seriousness of his son's driving record. Asked if he had considered not allowing Sadiq to drive the Raider, which is registered to his wife, Hubert Martin said his son "was using it to get to work and back."

Sadiq Martin worked for the U.S. Postal Service downtown.

"Regardless of his record, did the [Sept. 23] incident warrant killing him?" Hubert Martin said.

Yvonne Martin, Sadiq's mother, was angry that an account of his driving record was to be published. "You white folks all stick together. You are racist. You're pro-cop," she said.

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