Independent investigators are to look into a long-running complaint from a black driver that he is repeatedly stopped by police.
DJ and actor Carl Josephs claims that West Midlands Police has stopped him four times in the past 12 months and 57 times in the previous 11 years. Mr Josephs, aged 33, from Bromford Bridge, Birmingham, has claimed in the past that he is being victimised because of his colour. He is being supported in his complaint by human rights group Liberty.
John Crawley, from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, said: "I have decided the commission should investigate this matter directly because of the seriousness of the allegations - of harassment and racial discrimination - Mr Josephs has made.
"There is a clear public interest in ensuring that the investigation is demonstrably thorough and impartial.
"There has already been extensive media interest in Mr Josephs' complaints, and I consider it important that we sustain public confidence in the complaints system and in the appropriate and proportionate use of police stop powers by conducting a fair, impartial and independent investigation into what has happened here." The complaint will be looked at by IPCC investigators and led by IPCC deputy senior investigator Malcolm Niblo, overseen by Mr Crawley.
In February 1999, Mr Josephs unsuccessfully sued West Midlands Police for racial harassment, false imprisonment and unlawful arrest after claiming officers continually stopped him in his car.
In October 1999 he handed his MoT certificate, insurance papers and driving licence to the force for "safekeeping".
In 2001 Liberty hoped to use the then newly-introduced Human Rights Act to challenge police stop and search powers.
West Midlands Police said it would be inappropriate to comment until the investigation was complete.