A Case Of Racial Profiling?

Last week, I was pulled over by a Cop. Yes, siren, lights and all!

The strange thing is, prior to being pulled over, my friend observed that the Police Cruiser passed usPolice_cruiser at the Intersection where we were ‘yielded’, waiting to safely join the flow of traffic, and seemed to patiently wait for us.

He even made the comment, “I hope the Policeman is not waiting for us”.

When it was safe, we pulled into the flow of traffic, passed the cop, only to be pulled over shortly.

I was surprised at first because to the best of my knowledge, no laws had been violated. Then I felt irritated. By the end of the encounter I was enraged. I felt a bit violated. I confess I’m still shaking off this feeling. It has for some reason landed me in some kind of philosophical quandary.

You see, there were three people (all males) of African descent in the vehicle. It was a fairly late-model, ‘decent’ and ‘attractive’ black sedan. And we were not in any bizarre Halloween customs.

Here is what ensued after the officer walked to our vehicle.

He asked for the Driver’s license and IDs of EVERYONE in the vehicle. I was taken aback and wanted to ask why but decided to comply for the time being.

Upon receiving all the IDs, he went to his Cruiser, checked them I guess, and returned.

Here are the reasons he gave for pulling us over.

One, our vehicle was pulled up a bit too much into oncoming traffic.

Two, we seemed to be fighting in the vehicle. Now this reason had me really mixed up. Puzzled is a mild description.

Three, one of the Brake lights of the vehicle was out.

He then let us go “with a warning this time”.

As we drove off, a spirited discussion ensued about what just happened. This did not help calm my vividly animated thinking mind.

What pushed me over was my discovery that all the Brake lights were working just perfectly!

The question I’m now trying to answer is, ‘why the freaking . . . . . heck did he pull me over?’

This experience left a bad aftertaste in my mouth, and a bitter question that seems to linger on and on. . . .

PoliceWas this a case of racial profiling?

Am I guilty of Driving While ‘Black’?

I believe there are good upstanding Law Enforcement Personnel out there, but this caricature of a cop has really heightened my sensibilities about overzealous and narrow-minded people who might be wearing uniforms they don’t deserve to wear.

Am I reading too much into this experience? Have you ever experienced anything like this before? Is this a form of injustice by ‘The Authorities’?

6 thoughts on “A Case Of Racial Profiling?

  1. Angie M

    Not sure if it was racial profiling. But to go along with your story:

    My roommate’s boyfriend, who is of African decent (as you put it) was pulled over (after not breaking any laws) and told that a store had been robbed in the area where he was driving from and that his brake or tag light was out. Sounds a little familiar? He was asked to step out of the car and he and his car was searched–to find NOTHING!!! I also witnessed from my bedroom window a few weeks later–4 officers pull over 2 African american men–search them and the car and let them go. Apparently this practice seems to be normal?

    I (a Caucasian female) was pulled over by a cop one time and he said I was swerving. So he stopped me because he thought I was drunk or talking on the phone. I almost busted out laughing but I didn’t want to give him more belief that I was drunk. And of course I didn’t get a ticket.

    I think sometimes–depending on the officer–EVERYONE is a criminal until proven innocent.

    But the story/explanation he gave to you is a BS answer because I know you and the type of people you would be in a car with wouldn’t be questionable at all. So whether or not it was racial profiling or boredom–it was unnecessary!

    1. Thanks for the compliment Angie. And thanks for sharing those stories. I’m sure anyone can be pulled over at any time for some flimsiest reason. But I confess he got me thinking some crazy thoughts.

  2. Clarence

    Yes and Yes
    I have been pulled over many times by Police white and black my first car accident was with a DC police car I smelled alcohol in the cop car I was about 17 and looked 14. I have had black cops treat me real bad and some white cops let me go. Let’s get together and talk sometimes about our experiences.

    1. Thanks Clarence, for adding another perspective. Quite interesting.

  3. Hebergeur

    Racial profiling has destroyed public trust in police. Cops are exploiting our weak laws against it.

    1. I’m sure public trust in the police has taken an ugly beating. I do have some police friends however, I trust to do their jobs with unquestionable commitment and the uttermost integrity. The corrupt ones often give the others a bad name. Thanks for your observation.

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