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Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:05 AM

When Traffic Stops Go Bad -- How Cops Demean Black and Brown Men

http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/when-traffic-stops-go-bad-how-cops-demean-black-and-brown-men



Traffic stops by police in urban communities go bad far too frequently because of patrol policies that demean and rob minority residents of their dignity -- especially African American males. This writer experienced one such encounter on Dec. 22, 2012, on a cold, wet, drizzly Saturday night at approximately 8:25 p.m.

My 16-year-old son and I were headed to a neighborhood market for dinner, when Inglewood police flashed their lights for me to pull over for a traffic infraction (expired registration). I nervously peered through my rear view mirror. Night stops are often accompanied by cops overstepping the bounds of authority in one way or another.

The lead officer ordered me to exit my Ford 350 van, and asked me to raise my arms while he patted me down. My son was then ordered to exit the van after which he was patted down. Our behavior was cooperative and non-threatening. The two officers -- a white male and black female -- didn't say what they were searching for, or why they patted us down.

The male officer then ordered us to sit on the street curb, even though rain was falling steadily, and the curb was very wet. I'd witnessed black males sitting on the street curb numerous times in the past, and always considered it to be demeaning. I asked if I could remain standing while the officers ran our license plate. He insisted that I “should sit on the curb.”

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Reply When Traffic Stops Go Bad -- How Cops Demean Black and Brown Men (Original post)
xchrom Jan 2013 OP
pipoman Jan 2013 #1
CBGLuthier Jan 2013 #3
pipoman Jan 2013 #4
Coyotl Jan 2013 #7
pipoman Jan 2013 #8
msanthrope Jan 2013 #12
pipoman Jan 2013 #92
CreekDog Jan 2013 #67
Takket Jan 2013 #14
pipoman Jan 2013 #87
tblue37 Jan 2013 #96
pipoman Jan 2013 #97
CreekDog Jan 2013 #21
A Simple Game Jan 2013 #24
Arctic Dave Jan 2013 #45
pipoman Jan 2013 #88
Rex Jan 2013 #69
plethoro Jan 2013 #16
pipoman Jan 2013 #93
marble falls Jan 2013 #25
pipoman Jan 2013 #94
mwooldri Jan 2013 #48
pipoman Jan 2013 #95
Hassin Bin Sober Jan 2013 #73
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #80
RandiFan1290 Jan 2013 #2
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #89
OldRedneck Jan 2013 #5
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #10
Gormy Cuss Jan 2013 #74
BanzaiBonnie Jan 2013 #79
freshwest Jan 2013 #101
D23MIURG23 Jan 2013 #30
TahitiNut Jan 2013 #38
HangOnKids Jan 2013 #82
yardwork Jan 2013 #68
damnedifIknow Jan 2013 #6
timesamillion Jan 2013 #29
D23MIURG23 Jan 2013 #31
timesamillion Jan 2013 #35
damnedifIknow Jan 2013 #33
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #49
timesamillion Jan 2013 #61
Glassunion Jan 2013 #75
marmar Jan 2013 #9
msanthrope Jan 2013 #11
wildeyed Jan 2013 #13
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #17
Pirate Smile Jan 2013 #26
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #37
msanthrope Jan 2013 #18
gollygee Jan 2013 #36
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #63
Rex Jan 2013 #71
LanternWaste Jan 2013 #81
Honeycombe8 Jan 2013 #90
NickB79 Jan 2013 #100
Agony Jan 2013 #15
msanthrope Jan 2013 #19
Agony Jan 2013 #27
msanthrope Jan 2013 #41
CreekDog Jan 2013 #46
msanthrope Jan 2013 #53
noiretextatique Jan 2013 #83
CreekDog Jan 2013 #22
leftyohiolib Jan 2013 #39
msanthrope Jan 2013 #56
Dustlawyer Jan 2013 #20
CreekDog Jan 2013 #23
D23MIURG23 Jan 2013 #28
Glassunion Jan 2013 #76
timesamillion Jan 2013 #32
noiretextatique Jan 2013 #84
timesamillion Jan 2013 #86
noiretextatique Jan 2013 #98
timesamillion Jan 2013 #99
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #51
mountain grammy Jan 2013 #34
damnedifIknow Jan 2013 #40
mountain grammy Jan 2013 #64
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #52
mountain grammy Jan 2013 #62
pipi_k Jan 2013 #42
CreekDog Jan 2013 #47
LisaLynne Jan 2013 #50
backscatter712 Jan 2013 #55
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #57
TreasonousBastard Jan 2013 #43
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #58
TreasonousBastard Jan 2013 #91
Iggo Jan 2013 #44
Lurker Deluxe Jan 2013 #54
uponit7771 Jan 2013 #60
rrneck Jan 2013 #59
CreekDog Jan 2013 #66
rrneck Jan 2013 #77
jberryhill Jan 2013 #85
ismnotwasm Jan 2013 #65
Egalitarian Thug Jan 2013 #70
Liberal_in_LA Jan 2013 #72
Mdterp01 Jan 2013 #78

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:19 AM

1. I'll feel soooo much safer

if some DUers get their wish of police being the only people with guns...

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:45 AM

3. You want a gun to defend yourself against the police?

Gee isn't that what CRIMINALS do?

Nice hijacking BTW. Enjoy your gun.

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:55 AM

4. The second amendment and private ownership

are a deterrent to abuses by government. It isn't armed insurrection, it is a healthy fear of the populace on an individual basis which is the deterrent.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:12 AM

7. Oh bullshit

The second amendment is a deterrent to invasion by the British. Where were you in 1776?

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Response to Coyotl (Reply #7)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:13 AM

8. History..get some..

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Response to pipoman (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:31 AM

12. Oh, yeah--what they needed at that traffic stop was a gun. That TOTALLY would

have prevented the cops from asking them to exit the vehicle, and ABSOLUTELY would have made the cops more respectful and less likely to detain and search them.

I can see that. Fuck, I've had clients who think that.

Clients in prison, that is.


(Sarcasm, people, sarcasm.)

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #12)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:54 PM

92. See post #87

So I take it you agree with this silliness?

"The second amendment is a deterrent to invasion by the British. Where were you in 1776?"

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Response to pipoman (Reply #8)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:33 PM

67. that's right, good job trying to turn a thread about racial profiling into something different

but i'm sure you want us to talk about something else.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:42 AM

14. yeah great idea!

because in the above example blowing a cop's head off because he told you to sit on a curb is REALLY a healthy thing to do! Let's see, shoot the cop, and either spend life in prison or get the death penalty depending on your state, or get shot and kill yourself by the cops when they see you going for you run. perfectly reasonable in that circumstance!

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Response to Takket (Reply #14)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:36 PM

87. Nobody said any such thing..

the point is that if government in general knows that the populace is unable to defend themselves, historically, tyranny has arisen. This has not a single thing with this incident, it has to do with this type of incident would risk being much more pervasive. A healthy fear of the populace in general is what reduces abuses at all levels of government. That healthy fear comes from enumerated civil rights/liberties...all of them.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #87)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 03:55 AM

96. Let's see--approximately 300 million guns in the US.

All that privately owned weaponry doesn't seem to be slowing down our government's chipping away at our rights and liberties, nor does it prevent cops from abusing the rights of citizens and even brutalizing them.

Where is that "healthy fear of the populace" that you claim will tend to "reduce abuses at all levels of government," because I'm not seeing anything of the sort.

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Response to tblue37 (Reply #96)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 08:32 AM

97. The nature of government is to always push

for more and more power. The people will accept some, then they push back. Again, I am not talking about armed insurrection, I am talking about peaceful protests, about civil disobedience, about exerting power of the polls, about organizing with like thinking people, about speaking loudly in opposition. These tactics and others have driven policy for many years. Every movement within the populace has people who, on a continuum, are more active (maybe even radical) and progressively less vocal and radical. We have seen this with the Occupy movement. Some practiced civil disobedience, a few crossed the line into criminal behavior, some supported through outspokenness, some were occupying long term, some went out on weekends, some went out for a day or two, some vocally supported without going out at all. The movement has gotten the attention of government.

Back in the early 1990's when the Clinton administration began proposing radical gun control legislation, many "militias" arose, which were made up of people who felt very strongly against these proposals. Some (the most radical on the continuum) crossed the line into criminal activities. Most were associating peacefully with others who believed the same as they, they collaborated about proposed legislation, about candidates for office, and about responses to proposed legislation. The most radical on the continuum, Tim McVey, committed an unspeakable act admonished by almost everyone within the movement. The Clinton administration knew that if the far side of the opposition was this radical, there were many more who were very disgruntled. The Clinton administration quickly settled on proposals much less controversial than their earlier proposals. The adoption of "The Brady Bill" with the mandate of an instant check system instead of a waiting period, and the institution of the failed assault weapons ban with a 10 year sunset, and grandfathering of existing weapons which were classified as "assault weapons", were the compromises. After these compromises were reached, no other proposals for gun control were suggested by the administration. The interest in the militias died down and people accepted what was enacted. Then came the 1994 election cycle and many elected officials who supported the assault weapons ban lost their seats and were replaced by people who opposed the ban...including some Democrats. In 2004, with a Democratic congress, the assault weapons ban was allowed to sunset, even though Bush stated he would sign legislation if it were presented to him...it never happened. I believe there may be, ultimately, legislation which will look something like this, in response to the Connecticut shooting, but no actual bans..just a guess.

I believe we are going to see similar movements with 'the war on drugs' over the next decade. The federal government will drag it's feet, but ultimately will succumb to the pressure of the populace.

These are examples of "healthy fear of the populace" (there are historically many more). Popular movements have always driven government. These movements are only possible through the use of enumerated civil rights/liberties by the populace...and they work the way they were designed.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:08 AM

21. wow you totally hijacked this thread for your own purposes

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:16 AM

24. How's that working out lately? Or were you making a funny? n/t

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Response to pipoman (Reply #4)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:44 AM

45. If that were the case then why is this happeneing?

 

Logic fail...again.

Another, they reason we have guns is stop things from happening...as they are happening.

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Response to Arctic Dave (Reply #45)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:38 PM

88. See #87

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Response to CBGLuthier (Reply #3)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:40 PM

69. Perfect response!

Looks like the thread-jacker failed and had to eat his own failsauce!

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:48 AM

16. That will never happen. The tragedy in Newtown

 

was devastating. The US will never be the same. Having said that, what happened in Newtown does not in any way decrease the number of megalomaniacs walking around with badges and guns. And it gets worse every year. I have seen things in my lifetime regarding police and the things they have done to people that I did not believe while I was witnessing them. Yes, AR-15's and assault weapons in general should be banned--and the ban enforced. But general weapons used for protection, no way will they or should they be banned. And as time moves on, I am becoming much more in fear of gun carriers with badges than those without them. If the guns were banned in THIS particular country, you would have XE types running around intimidating people for the Fascist MICs. And the pace of loss of freedom would go from slow and methodical like it is now to fast and purposeful.

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Response to plethoro (Reply #16)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:59 PM

93. I agree

except I believe there has certainly been times in the history of the US when injustices like this were more common, just lesser known.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:18 AM

25. I agree with you.

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Response to marble falls (Reply #25)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:59 PM

94. thx

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:51 AM

48. I know this is off topic but...

I'm English and still most UK police officers do not carry firearms, and checking expired registrations is done by camera/computer. However... getting back on topic now...

From the article, I feel the police officers went way over the top for an "expired registration". As for running the tags, this could be done as quickly as the officer could read the plate number and either use a computer connection or request info over the radio. Before the officer(s) stepped out of the vehicle. My wife was pulled over for something similar, though we had renewed our registration we didn't receive the new sticker for the tag. The officer involved checked that this was the case and sent her on her way - without the need to get out and be patted down... or getting a baby out and for the baby to be patted down either. This vehicle stop was in an urban area, and not in the best part of town.

Now there are things that can be done. There has been plenty of incidents where people do impersonate police officers. Our law enforcement here advise on a few things - if you see those flashing blue lights are for you, acknowledge the officer by turning on the turn indicator or four-way flashers. If concerned about safety, call 911, and also proceed to a well-lit area safe off the highway (if needs be advising the 911 dispatcher you are doing this). Then obey the officers' directions and be fully co-operative.

Although I don't personally see it or experience it, I can believe that there are too many cases of DWB (Driving While Black). The article is calling for uniform approaches to vehicle stops and I agree yes there needs to be a uniform standard. If the officer deems that the vehicle he or she pulled over presents actual danger, then that officer needs to call for backup. But then again - leaving the vehicle, patting down, sitting on side of the road in the rain... this is way overkill for expired vehicle registration.

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Response to mwooldri (Reply #48)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 12:10 AM

95. Thanks for understanding the intent of this post..

I simply don't like the idea of the state having tremendously more power than the populace...in any respect...

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:06 PM

73. Never mind that it's the proliferation of guns that give pigs an excuse to act like this at any stop.

I used to wonder why rank and file cops were FOR proliferation of guns in our society. It occurred to me they probably don't care because it gives them excuse to act like assholes whenever they feel like it.

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Response to pipoman (Reply #1)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:34 PM

80. I imagine your sacred cow is well defended

"if some DUers get their wish of police being the only people with guns..."

I imagine your sacred cow is well defended by the RW PAC: The NRA. So bless your little heart...

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:23 AM

2. In Texas

they could get a roadside finger up their ass

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Response to RandiFan1290 (Reply #2)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:41 PM

89. That's reserved for women, I think. Which brings to mind..why no outrage of how women are treated?nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:02 AM

5. Why was your registration expired?

If your state is like most others, you receive notice in the mail a month or so before your registration expires and you can renew (1) in person at DMV office, (2) by mail, or (3) online. Problem solved.

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Response to OldRedneck (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:26 AM

10. Hmm.

Well, as a white female, I have been pulled over with expired registration (renewed online, hadn't gotten the sticker yet in the mail) and I was not made to get out of my vehicle. In fact the officer was really nice about the whole thing. So, um, yeah, nothing to see here.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:09 PM

74. +1

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:08 PM

79. Exactly

It's a paperwork offense. Not a capital crime.


This would certainly be a place to get rid of nstitutionalized racism.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #10)

Thu Jan 17, 2013, 12:29 PM

101. Same here. Also as a person growing up in a less enlightened era (huh?), here's what a co-worker

I was working with told me.

We worked together several years at my blue collar, union job outside. We both got job offers from government recruiters and he was wondering why I didn't want to try as air traffic controller, or city PD as it might be less physical work.

I said I didn't want to be an air traffic controller because of the hours and didn't want to be a cop, they had a bad reputation at the time. He had a chance to check it out and was taken out to one of the city's black neighborhoods to look for expired tags. They had a quota to get, I think that's illlegal now, but it may not be the case. The cop driving said that was their best hunting ground.

They were poor areas, more likely to have late tags. Sometimes one is short on finances, it almost happened to me once when I was struggling to pay for the basics and worried for a few months until I could afford to get it renewed.

My co-worker felt targetting minorities or the poor was despicable and decided that job wasn't for him. That was also an era when traffic stops resulted in a lot of harrassment and false arrests of innocent black men AND women. It was an outrage to both of us as whites, but it kept going on until we voted a civilian review board.

That's definitely institutional racism or else harrassing the poor. It's a technical stop that doesn't mean the driver is doing anything wrong but not meeting that requirement. Sure, the reason I was sweating that time was I didn't have the money to buy a new muffler and needed the car to go to work, although it wasn't smoking, it had a hole.

Tags also mean brakes are inspected and lights working. It's a good law for public safety reasons. I couldn't get the money for the muffler without driving the beast to work to get the money first, haha. And there was no one else to take care of that for me since I wasn't like Mittens who said to just borrow money from dad. As soon as I got paid, I got the muffler and tag.

But these things build up for the chronically lower paid or underemployed. Those who haven't thought this through or haven't walked in the shoes of the working poor, are calling these folks lazy or lawbreakers when their main crime is being poor.

The number of opportunities one misses in that economic state are not considered by those who haven't lived through it. Thanks for your post, too.


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Response to OldRedneck (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:41 AM

30. No, that still leaves the problem of unaccountable cops who do indefensible things. n/t

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Response to OldRedneck (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:01 AM

38. Life must be good in "the bubble."

Funny how the mail is often 'delayed' for some folks awaiting those stickers.

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Response to TahitiNut (Reply #38)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:42 PM

82. But But But We Needed OldRN To Lecture Us Tahiti

 

Because we are just too dumb, or sumpin like that!

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Response to OldRedneck (Reply #5)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:35 PM

68. ...and if you do not comply with the state's requirements, you deserve to be harassed?

Sometimes people forget to renew their registration, or it gets lost in the mail, or maybe it got lost by the clerk, or any number of things could happen. What should happen to a person who is pulled over for an expired registration? Forced to sit on a curb in the pouring rain? Patted down?

How would you feel if the cops did that to you and your sixteen year old son?

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Response to xchrom (Original post)


Response to damnedifIknow (Reply #6)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:38 AM

29. I don't know about lower IQ

A common "preferred" qualification to be a cop these days is a bachelors degree, if you can believe that.

But I agree with "paranoid" and "Dirty Harry movie watching."

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Response to timesamillion (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:45 AM

31. A bachelors degree in what? n/t

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Response to D23MIURG23 (Reply #31)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:52 AM

35. Like most professions, I assume it's a degree "related to the field"

So, I'd guess people majoring in Criminal Justice, Psychology, or Sociology would be alright. I don't think you have to have a specific kind of degree, though.

I looked into being a police officer for awhile in my home city (Philly), city where I attended university (Seattle), and other cities I thought I might like to live in and they all preferred candidates with a four year degree.

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Response to timesamillion (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:49 AM

33. Oh and stick arrogant and roid raging in there also.

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Response to timesamillion (Reply #29)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:57 AM

49. Depends on the PD...

IIRC, the NYPD actively excludes applicants who test too high on their intelligence test.

A man who was rejected for that reason sued, and lost.

It shows...

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:32 AM

61. Yes, that was an interesting case

Here's the link to the rest of the story that includes the rationale behind the exclusion:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/story?id=95836&page=1#.UOWx9WCe2H8

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #49)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:13 PM

75. It was CT not NY. But otherwise correct.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:15 AM

9. k/r

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:28 AM

11. From what this guy describes, he got a completely legal and professional traffic stop.

Maryland v. Wilson, Arizona v. Johnson, Brendlin v. California.....these cops seem to have acted within the law defined by these decisions. The author does not describe a search of the vehicle, which I do not think the officers performed. This is completely within the 4th amendment. That does not mean it is fair.

Now, I agree with him...these procedures, which are largely at the discretion** of the officer are seldom applied in more affluent areas and generally do not happen to white, suburban males.


**discretion meaning 'reasonable suspicion' that the officer's safety might be in jeopardy. Which is almost never successfully challenged.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:38 AM

13. I've never even been asked to leave my car.

I got pulled over the other night and was allowed to sit in my car while the officer ran my license. It never even occurred to me that I could be forced to sit on the curb and wait. I guess there are perks to being a white, middle class female......

Profiling has got to stop. There are cameras on all police cars now, so it should be easy to figure out if an officer is profiling and then do retraining with those who practice it.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:50 AM

17. Yep, just posted the same thing above.

I've never been asked to leave my car, but then again, I'm a white female.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:22 AM

26. Me too. White female. Anyone pretending everyone gets treated the same is clueless.

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Response to LisaLynne (Reply #17)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:01 AM

37. as a white male my last pull-over - i was ordered out of my car, hands on the hood and searched

 

offense - none . we were on the same road i was headed north he was headed south. iwas on my way to work just left my house 30 seconds earlier. he passed me did a u-turn pulled me over threaten to throw me in jail every time i asked why i'm being pulled over- he said i was speeding.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:57 AM

18. Neither have I--and I was recently stopped and ticketed in VA.

Fact is, our SCOTUS has allowed incursions into the 4th amendment that balance the safety of officers at traffic stops with your civil rights. And in doing so, officers are given wide latitude to permissibly profile and judge the situation.

I think cops should record every contact they have with a civilian. Every one.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:58 AM

36. I've never been asked to leave my car either

I can't believe anyone in this thread is suggesting this is reasonable. I would be very upset if I were forced to leave the car and patted down over a minor traffic stop. But I also know it won't ever happen.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:39 AM

63. You can't retrain psychopaths.

The dirty rotten bastards who practice racial profiling should be fired and blacklisted from the law enforcement profession.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:46 PM

71. Yes, white male here

never been forced to sit on the curb either. Never been told to leave the vehicle and sometimes could talk myself into just a warning.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 02:38 PM

81. As a clean cut, white male, I'm compelled to agree with you.

"I guess there are perks to being a white, middle class female..."


As a clean cut, white male, I'm compelled to agree with you. Even during my "misspent youth" (clean cut back then too), there are three specific instances I *should* have gone to jail overnight, but simply received a very polite warning each time and told to be careful and go home.

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:46 PM

90. I'm a white female. I wanted to get out once, and they told me to stay in the car....

it's a matter of the environment and control of the possible perp.

Another time they let me stand outside of the car. And yet another time they told me to get out.

It all depends on the business of the street, the area of town (high crime vs. low crime), time of day/night, what is the norm for the cops in that area.

But cops are probably less concerned about being shot by a female because statistically, there haven't been many incidences of that.

It's hard to say in any given situation if something like the OP situation was because of race or something else. He said he'd seen other black people sitting on teh curb. Maybe there have been whites, too, but he didn't see, or didn't notice. And maybe that's the norm of what the cops do in that area for control of the possible perps.

I don't get stopped a lot...I'm just old enough that the # of times have added up over the years!

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Response to wildeyed (Reply #13)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:18 PM

100. I was pulled over last week. Forgot to turn on my headlights

As I was leaving a grocery store parking lot at night.

The cop simply walked up to the car, told me he saw I didn't have my lights on and didn't want me to get in an accident, and sent us on our way. I asked if he'd like to see my license and registration, but he said that wasn't necessary.

I'm white. My wife, who is Hispanic, was blown away by all this. The moment he turned on his lights, she started getting agitated, telling me to keep my hands on the wheel, don't even think about reaching for my wallet until he told me to, don't even touch my seatbelt, etc.

All those fears never even occurred to me.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 08:45 AM

15. completely legal? OK... Professional? NO! actually... FUCK NO!

professionalism is a serious problem within our police forces.

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Response to Agony (Reply #15)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:03 AM

19. Well, you and I may disagree as to what is 'professional' in this circumstance....

Without a doubt, this was a legal traffic stop for a verifiable offense. It was apparently conducted without the use of force, verbal threats, or abuse, by seemingly efficient cops who eventually offered the author shelter from the rain.

Was it pleasant? No. Was it embarrassing for the author? Yes. Was the conduct of the cops outside common police practice and therefore actionable? Doesn't seem like it.


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Response to msanthrope (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:28 AM

27. The article is not primarily about this particular event it is about a pattern

...a pattern of non-professional behavior by police when interacting with a certain demographic. to me.. the police need more training in how to professionally protect and serve everyone instead of trending toward militarization.

we need professional lawyers
we need professional police

I interact with police officers on emergency scenes often enough and see plenty of professional behavior... but then, everyone is white... I hear racist comments all the time, no black people around to act out on. racism is not dead.

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Response to Agony (Reply #27)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:23 AM

41. Actually, the article suffers because the author has made it all about his event, instead of

focusing on the pattern--note the utter lack of stats and figures regarding the Inglewood cops?

While racism is not dead, if you are going to prove institutional racism in an equal protection challenge, you aren't going to do it by anecdote. Data.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #41)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:46 AM

46. I get you. By telling his story, "he's doing it wrong."

Get real.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #46)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:13 AM

53. No--his problem is that he doesn't expand his story to others to show a pattern of behavior that's

actionable. As I noted above, the current SCOTUS decisions governing car stops aren't likely to be challenged except collaterally, through SDP, or EP challenges.

I mean, I'm glad he told his story, and I have no reason to doubt that it transpired as he described it. I would have advised him, as an attorney, to refrain from writing about it until the disposition of the charge against him, but I doubt it will harm him.

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #19)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:18 PM

83. the problem is: "common police pratice" aka profiling

which means black men in inglewood get ordered out of the car...and black men in beverly hilss get ordered out of the car. that's the "common police practice."

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Response to msanthrope (Reply #11)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:11 AM

22. white people are patted down for expired registration?

or lacking a sticker?

wow, this thread is really brining out the people who don't believe in discrimination.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:06 AM

39. i was pulled over for what he said was speeding but i just left my house w/in 30 seconds and was

 

just getting started down the road when the officer passed me -i was going north he south. pulled me over ordered me out of the car and patted me down made me stand on the curb while he searched my vehicle everytime i asked why did he pull me over he told me to shut up or i was going to jail/ it wasnt untill i got the ticket that he said i was speeding.
i am a white male and was my 40's

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #22)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:26 AM

56. They are sent to jail for not wearing seatbelts....

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:04 AM

20. It is bad to stereotype anyone, the black father and son, or the cops.

I have worked with a police organization here in Tx., and have made some friends and learned a lot. I would say that the profession attracts adrenaline junkies, ex-jocks, and racists from all races, in higher percentages than most other jobs. Having said that, most are good people in a very difficult job. They get lied to all shift by John Q. Public. They get attacked frequently. They are taught that when you have to take someone down, they are to use as much force as necessary to get them down quickly. That way, the officer is more likely to go home at the end of his/her shift intact and unhurt. Is there abuse, of course, but not by the majority of policemen. Go on a ride-a-long with one and see what it is like.

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:14 AM

23. right, it's equal, because the police were once enslaved, targeted by Jim Crow...

denied their right to vote.

lynched.







if you don't want to believe that discrimination disproportionately happens to black people in this country --you would fit extremely well into conservative Republican politics.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:34 AM

28. +10E6

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Response to D23MIURG23 (Reply #28)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:14 PM

76. Ha!

Nerd humor rocks!

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #23)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:48 AM

32. As a black female, I didn't read the comment that way

I actually agree that cops are unfairly stereotyped as being power-corrupted pigs. There are definitely many bad apples in the bunch when it comes to cops, but they're not all like that. Is the discrimination equal to that of black people? No. But if we start qualifying prejudice by how awful it is, then we're heading in a pretty horrible direction because ALL prejudice is bad

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Response to timesamillion (Reply #32)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 03:21 PM

84. prejudice against paid civil servants is every bit as bad as 400+ years of slavery, jim crow

and racial profiling by paid civil servants i...call...bullshit

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #84)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 07:33 PM

86. I explicitly said prejudice against police is not as bad as prejudice against the black community

But I think all prejudice bad.

I think not hiring someone because he or she has extraneous piercings is bad. I think calling a woman a slut because she wears a lot of makeup and provocative clothing is bad. I think telling an overweight individual to "hit the gym, fatty" is bad. I think calling all cops pigs is bad. And, yes, I think racial profiling is bad.

By your logic, every group of people would have to go through centuries of abuse and scorn before they can claim they've been victims of discrimination.

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Response to timesamillion (Reply #86)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 01:27 PM

98. unless you live in a vacuum

you cannot convince me that prejudice against cops, even though it is "bad" is remotely equivalent to the prejudice exhibited by cops towards african-americans. nor do i believe prejudice against people with piercings, even though it is "bad," is remotely equivalent to centuries-old misogynistic attitudes towards women. an indian woman just DIED because she was gang-raped in public, so NO, i don't think that kind of hatred is directed towards the paid civil servants known as cops.

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Response to noiretextatique (Reply #98)

Fri Jan 4, 2013, 05:06 PM

99. Maybe a third time is a charm here?

For the third time: YES, some displays of prejudice are more violent, more widespread, and more genuinely horrifying than other displays of prejudice. Where I disagree with you is that I don't believe it's fair or sensical to quantify prejudice. An Indian woman getting gang raped is absolutely appalling. A police officer having his car vandalized, for example, is nowhere near as life-altering and shocking as a gang rape, you're right. But my point is that these things shouldn't be compared like that because it's pointless to do that, and it's not only ignoring the root of a universal problem but it's also selfishly claiming that universal problem as if it only belongs to one group.

A completely unrelated application of your logic: cheating. We can both agree that cheating is wrong, right? It doesn't matter what form it occurs - it's wrong. Yes? So, you wouldn't excuse a child for cheating on a pop quiz because "psh, it's not like it's a test."

Or maybe you would. Maybe we just have different feelings about equality and justice.

If you still don't understand what I'm saying, you never will. So, no need to respond.

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Response to Dustlawyer (Reply #20)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:11 AM

51. Police are being taught wrong.

They are taught that when you have to take someone down, they are to use as much force as necessary to get them down quickly.




Police are supposed to be the experts in the use of force. Which means they should be using force surgically, and not in excess, or for fun. Why aren't they being taught and expected to use the minimum force required to do the job? They should be using techniques designed to restrain a person without damaging him too much, and using techniques to ensure they don't have to use force at all if they don't have to. Ever notice that in the more professional police departments, the cops will call you sir even when they're arresting you? "Please put your hands behind your back sir."

An officer should be taught to use deescalation techniques when a person's arguing instead of going immediately to domination, shouting-down and force. They should be using Aikido restraints when they can do that instead of kicking the shit out of someone and putting him in the hospital. And the gun should come out as an absolute last resort. Yes, I expect police officers to put themselves at risk for this instead of kicking the shit out of innocents due to cowardice.

Not so long ago, lots of cops would tell you they've never had to use their sidearm, or they only used it once or twice in their entire careers. Now they draw their guns all the time, for the most minuscule provocations. Too many police departments are staffed with roid-raging psychos.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 09:50 AM

34. In Denver, cops beat up anyone, regardless of race,

and shoot first and ask questions later. A few years ago a Denver cop shot and killed a guy in bed because "he was holding something shiny." It was a pop can. Just recently, a cop shot and killed another cop on the other side of a fence. He thought it was the perp they were chasing. This stuff happens frequently in Denver and the city has paid millions to settle claims of people injured by the police. Sure there are plenty of "good cops" but they lose the right to be called "good" when they ignore the actions of "bad" cops.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #34)


Response to damnedifIknow (Reply #40)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:45 AM

64. So police forces HAVE made progress

they've gone from being total racists harrassing only people of color to being more inclusive and harrassing everyone almost equally. Maybe the best they can do? I hope not.

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Response to mountain grammy (Reply #34)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:12 AM

52. I've had good, neutral and bad experiences with cops.

Denver cops are fucking thugs. When I was with Occupy Denver, I've never seen such unprofessional behavior from people wearing the uniforms.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #52)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:38 AM

62. I visited Occupy Denver a few times and everything was peaceful,

but those of us who have lived in Denver knew it was just a matter of time before Denver cops showed their nasty side.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:29 AM

42. For anyone thinking

that being white and/or female makes a difference in treatment...

No. Sorry.

Two incidents from the mid 1980s:

1. I'm driving to work in a light rain on a state highway in my little Honda Civic when I'm pulled over by a State cop. Reason? Because my headlights were not on. I'm not disrespectful to him. I do what he tells me to do. I open my glove box to get my registration and he sees a bottle with white stuff in it. "What's that??" he asks. "Salt", I said. "Why are you carrying salt around?" Me: "Because I eat at fast food places a lot (I did) and always forget to ask for extra salt (true)". I forget if I invited him to sample some of it to verify what I told him. He was NOT nice to me. Gave me a warning...whenever the weather is bad enough to use windshield wipers, drivers must always have their headlights on.

2. Trip to Canada that went bad. Boyfriend (at the time) and I stop at customs coming back to the US and are questioned by a very nasty agent who decides that two white people in an older model car who don't answer him the way he wants them to are a couple of drug smugglers or worse. We are pulled over and subjected to humiliating car and body searches. Meanwhile, I am sitting there wondering how many real smugglers/terrorists are slipping through. In the end, we are allowed to go free with a half-assed apology.

White people. White man, white woman.

It really can happen to anyone.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:49 AM

47. Bad as that is, minorities are treated far worse overall more frequently

Imagine that?

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:00 AM

50. Yes, it can happen to anyone and no one posting that they were white and/or female was saying it ...

couldn't. It's just that it doesn't happen AS OFTEN as it does to black males. "Driving while black" isn't some made up thing. It happens. African Americans, especially males, are targeted by law enforcement. Police can be demeaning to anyone, of course, and that does happen and no one is saying it doesn't, but it is systematic against African Americans.

I can't believe I have to point that out on DU.

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Response to pipi_k (Reply #42)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:25 AM

55. Your privilege is showing.

A middle-class white guy might have a bad experience with a cop once in a decade.

If you're black, or Latino, or an effeminate guy, or some other minority, you'll get that harassment once a week. And the instant you complain about that kind of treatment, the cops beat the shit out of you, charge you with "assaulting a police officer" and you're looking at spending a year in jail because some authoritarian piece of shit didn't like your lip.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #55)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:28 AM

57. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:29 AM

43. When I lived in NJ "Driving while Black" was...

the offense causing a serious outrage. Cornell West, when he lived in Connecticut and taught at Princeton, said he was pulled over at least once a week on the Turnpike. Black guy in a CT BMW-- must be a dealer. The State Police eventually got their asses kicked in court over that bullshit and had to file paperwork on traffic stops.

I remember the day Port Authority cops at Newark airport profiled the black driver of an-out-of-state Cadlillac as a drug dealer, but after they had the car towed and dragged him down to their little squad room, it turned out he was a Federal judge. Very embarrassing. And costly.

And there was town that was the center of attention when it came out that they dropped you from the list if you scored too high on the IQ test. Seems nothing much happened in that town, and they figured if you were smart you would get bored and quit.

I tell ya, the Star-Ledger was hilarious reading.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #43)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:29 AM

58. Damn! A federal judge? How long ago was this? Hope he sued the CRAP out of them

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Response to uponit7771 (Reply #58)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:49 PM

91. Over 10 years ago. I never heard the end...

of the story and I don't remember it making the papers. I got it from local cops who thought it was hilarious.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 10:31 AM

44. Yay, Cops!

Thay're the best!

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:14 AM

54. Not saying it is right ...

But there are alot of things that go into a traffic stop. Unfortunatly race is one of those things.

When I was younger and drove a hot rodded up pick up with dark tint, custom wheels, and custom exhaust I got pulled over ... alot. I had long hair, always had sunglasses on, and my truck was loud and it stood out. Almost everytime I got pulled over I was searched, as was my truck. I was cocky and was never treated with respect by the "law".

Some 20 years later ... my last two cars have been an '11 red camaro, and now a '13 blue mustang. Both were/are stock, no wheels/tint/loud exhaust. Last ticket I got was for rolling a stop sign, cop was polite, told me what I did and wrote me a ticket with no event at all. Never asked me to get out of the vehicle, I never even shut it off. I was polite to him, he was to me ... I did roll the stop sign.

Not excusing the fat that profiling is done, but it is certainly done, on alot more things than race.

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Response to Lurker Deluxe (Reply #54)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:31 AM

60. cept race should NOT be a factor at all, it's irritating at the least to be harrased by the police

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 11:29 AM

59. Ford 350 van

Did the van have windows? If they are like most vans I have seen, the driver and passenger seats are high back bucket seats. If there were no windows or if the windows were tinted, it is almost impossible to see inside the vehicle when looking through the driver side window. The officers would have no way of knowing how many people are in the vehicle. Had they been driving a car, the officers could look and see who was in it as they approached. Granted, lots of cars have tinted windows as well, but it's a bit more difficult to get out of a car than a van. Half a dozen guys can get a "running start" out of the back of a van with all sorts and kinds of weapons from a direction that are difficult for the officers to control.

If they couldn't see inside the van, traffic stop procedures may have required them to have the driver and passenger exit the vehicle. When asked to exit the vehicle, procedures may have required a pat down and a curb sit. I don't know though, I'm not a cop and I didn't stay at a Holiday Inn last night.

Also, the added need for caution could be as a rubric to harass a black man and his son for no other reason than to harass a black man and his son. Police harassment is usually perpetrated in the name of "officer safety".

I've always thought it a good idea to turn on the interior light of the vehicle in a traffic stop. It gives the officer a good look inside the vehicle and helps him relax a bit by showing an effort to cooperate with him. I've never had to sit on a curb during a traffic stop. But then again, I'm white.

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Response to rrneck (Reply #59)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:31 PM

66. that's not probable cause --i can't see what's in there, better search them

no no no.

it doesn't help your argument that you often post conservative stuff here.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #66)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:15 PM

77. Have you ever pulled a van over at night? In the role of a police officer?

Do you know the procedure for a traffic stop in Inglewood? I don't have a clue. If the officer saw something that might require a search of the van, which might include the affect of the occupants, he was justified in asking the driver to get out. Once having done that, the rest might have been mandatory. Like I said, I don't know.

We don't really know whether they had probable cause or not since we are only getting one side of the story. It would be helpful if whoever posted the OP would do research and find out, if possible, what was actually said or done in the course of the stop. Was the stop recorded? We don't know. What did Mr. Fellows actually say to the officer? We don't know. I gather Mr. Fellows is a fairly big wheel somewhere but I don't really care. The fact that he is an editor and publisher may mean that he is a stalwart pillar of the community, or an attention hound looking to boost his public profile and the circulation of his paper. I don't care either way because a one sided editorial in an online publication isn't worth the time to research who the guy is or what his motivations may be.

I saw a detail in the OP and and pointed it out. To wit: It is difficult to see inside a van at night and the officers may have had reason to ask the occupants to get out. Having done that, the rest of the procedure may have been compulsory. Again, I don't know. If they had no probable cause, they had no right to have anyone get out of the car and they were profiling the occupants. If they were being profiled, Mr. Fellows will have a good case against the officers. In fact he will have a better case than most people of color due to his social position.

But since we are on the subject of profiling, what makes you think I'm a secret conservative out to corrupt the purity of DemocraticUnderground? What argument are you making and what are you doing to support it? Why don't you dig up some links and let's see what you've got? Better yet, why don't you dash to Meta with your evidence and accuse me of affective nonconformity? Just try not to knock over any furniture in your haste to purge the rolls. Where is your probable cause? Support your accusation. Let's see what you've got. I'm not getting out of this fucking van until you produce some proof.

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Response to CreekDog (Reply #66)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 05:13 PM

85. "Probable cause" is irrelevant to what happened here


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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:09 PM

65. That's straight up profiling

Occasionally I post about my neighborhood; multiethnic, working class it has a fairly high crime rate although my street is quiet. It's one of those schizophrenic neighborhood where one set of streets will be fine, the next full of tweekers and gang activity.

It's such a mishmash of ethnicities and race you'd think everyone would be on the profile list. We have quite the number of white, male sex offenders for instance.

Anecdotally (I don't have statistics right now) that's not the case, we have many instances of profiling of both Black and Latino males. Interestingly, we have Vietnamese gangs, I don't know what the experience of the average Pan-Asian male is.

But back to where I live. The edge of Seattle. Remember this is the city were a young officer shot a half deaf scrawny Native American man---one well known on the street-- dead for walking down the street with a small carving knife, head down minding his own business. This is the city where every time I hear of a police shooting, I automatically think its going to be another black man. This is the city whose police department had to have their Hands slapped with a federal investigation because of multiple complaints, yes, but it took the blatant murder of a inebriate male of color at the hands of the police before an accountable investigation actually happened

I'm am NOT anti-police. They have a tough job. I think we don't see the good services they provide, or even give them credit for it. My whole point about my neighborhood is if I have to call them, and I have, I want and get the protection and support police are supposed to provide. I'm white. And yes that makes a difference, both in my perception of what to expect from police, and police response.

Profiling is such bullshit, racism is so institutionalized, so prevalent that profiling cannot be separated from racism. I don't know why people try.

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:44 PM

70. K&R Same as it ever was. I suppose that the fact that this now gets some bit of notice is

 

progress of a sort. We live in a police state and the biggest problem is that many, if not most, Americans want it that way (until it comes after them, of course).

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 12:52 PM

72. kick

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Thu Jan 3, 2013, 01:47 PM

78. I wish a cop would try some shit like that on me

 

I've never been a victim of racial profiling. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I'm a fair skinned black/latino guy who dresses in a very clean cut and preppy style. I don't look "threatening". However, there are times when I've actually wished a cop would try some shit like that on me so I could raise some hell afterward. Yes, the OP had an expired registration, but why couldn't that have been completed without making him and his son sit in the rain? Oh hell no. I would've been all up in that precinct making sure what I thought of the situation even if it didn't get me anywhere. You're not just gonna do that to me and think I'm not gonna go up to the precinct and give someone an earful.

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