By on June 1, 2020

sirens. Shutterstock user vchal

This past weekend I had an encounter with the police.

No, I wasn’t protesting the death of George Floyd. Instead, I was approximately 25 miles away from the area in Chicago where protests occurred, sitting in a Mercedes-AMG, surgical mask on, while a very polite police officer (also masked) wrote me up for violating the speed limit.

I’d gone to my favorite back road – Chicagoans, especially North Shore residents, know well the ravine along Sheridan Road – to test this AMG. I’d be heading home with some unexpected paperwork.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to write about this. As much as we value transparency here at TTAC, getting a ticket isn’t worth a post, usually, for the simple reason that unless the encounter with the police or the violation itself is unusual, it’s a pretty boring story. Car enthusiast and auto journalist violates speed limit, doesn’t see cop quickly enough, and soon after owes a municipality some money. Yawn.

The only way this particular encounter was interesting is that I was a few ticks of the speedo from being in deeper trouble, but that’s a story for another time. Because of this, I did have some thoughts about writing a treatise about speeding, unnecessarily low speed limits, and a certain Illinois law that seems too stringent, and I still might, if I can organize those jumbled thoughts. But that’s not why I write this post.

I broke the law, I was stopped, I’ll pay the fine and do the traffic school, and life will move on. Speeding tickets are an occupational hazard, and even before I became an auto journalist, I already possessed a leaden foot. Given how often I’ve been stopped (I even managed to be nabbed twice on the same weekend, on the same road, during one particularly bad weekend in my mid-20s. Who knew ’97 Accord coupes drew the eyes of fuzz?), I apparently also lack eyesight good enough to spot the black and whites. Maybe I need to re-invest in a radar detector.

What got to me was what happened later in the day. Back at home, I flicked on CNN. Soon I saw mayhem in parts of many major cities, including Chicago, where I live. Just four or five miles from where I’m typing this, police and protesters were clashing. Even now, as I write this on Sunday afternoon, the nearest southbound entrance to Chicago’s Lake Shore Drive is blocked off. A curfew has been added to the waning days of our citywide shelter-in-place order.

As I’ve processed the reasons behind the protest, I’ve thought about the all the times I’ve been stopped for driving too fast, or the one time I blanked out and blew through a stop sign on the way to work at a previous job, or even the time I got stopped in college because the Chicago police were looking for an alleged rapist who drove a similar car.

Never, in all those times, have I feared that things would go bad. I never feared I’d be beaten up, or worse. Only once was my car ever searched for contraband (I authorized it, knowing I was clean, and being too young and naïve to realize that cops sometimes do plant drugs). Eighty percent of the time, perhaps even 90 percent, the cops were polite and professional. When they weren’t, they were simply a bit rude and maybe lectured me for speeding.

Even when I was pulled over on that rape suspect mix-up, the cops were fine. They immediately knew I wasn’t their guy – the suspect they were looking for was a little older, Hispanic, and drove a four-door Grand Am (while mine had just two) – and after a quick scan of my info, I was let go with no drama. If any gun was drawn, I never saw it in the dark.

I’ve thought about this before, but it’s amazing to think that my lack of fear is because of the color of my skin. Sure, other factors may play a part – I’ve generally been stopped in low-crime areas, and I’ve often been driving cars that are brand new and sometimes marked with manufacturer plates – but I don’t know the fear that others do.

I realize there are plenty of good cops, and these incidents make up a fraction of encounters with cops, and that sometimes deadly force is justified. Those caveats aside, it’s completely understandable why high-profile incidents like this would lead people who look like George Floyd or Eric Garner to have a fear of the police that I don’t have. Not to mention all the minor incidents that don’t rise to the level of media attention, or the other underlying socioeconomic factors at play.

Yeah, Floyd was arrested for allegedly passing a counterfeit bill, not speeding. I get that. But other people of color have ended up dead after a traffic stop. The circumstances around Floyd’s death may not have involved a traffic stop, but the issues at hand are the same. In fact, the pent-up anger behind these protests comes in part because nothing changed after the incidents that involved traffic stops.

Others don’t have that lived experience, and we need to keep that in mind in the days and weeks going forward, as we debate and discuss what’s happened to this country over the past week.

Some of you are going to hop to the comments and yell at me for being political. Don’t. Acknowledging that the police have killed minorities is not political, it’s a fact. Police have killed white men and women, too. That’s also a fact. Acknowledging that some people have an uneasy relationship with police due to the color of their skin isn’t political. It’s a fact. Acknowledging that a traffic stop is much scarier for some folks than others isn’t political, it’s a fact.

Debating what to do about it is political. Debating about the agendas of some of the folks who were part of the protests is political. You’ll find well-written words about such things elsewhere, in media outlets across the political spectrum. Go there and read those words. I won’t go in that direction here. And please, take it easy in the comments. Our mods don’t need to deal with flame wars.

You may also ask what this has to do with cars. The answer is, not a ton. I’ll grant that. But we’re all enthusiasts on staff, and most of you readers are, too. Even if you’re not an enthusiast and Google brought you here because of a review, well, you drive. If you’re reading this site, you drive. And you probably get pulled over every so often, because it happens to even the most cautious driver. We all occasionally lose sight of the speed limit.

And that’s the thing. For some of us, it’s not a fraught experience. It’s annoying and you get a bit upset, maybe feel a little guilty, but you live. You pay the fine, do what you can to keep your record and insurance from taking too much damage, and you move on. Eventually, the stop and the ticket become just another bad memory.

But for many of us, it’s so much more. It’s frightening. They might not end up dead, but it’s happened to enough people who look like them that it fills them with fear.

Yes, cops have a dangerous job. A routine traffic stop could be dangerous for them, too. And yes, many if not most cops are good people — competent, and not racist. Yet just enough bad apples exist that the whole bunch becomes rotten in the eyes of some.

Our country is going through a turbulent time. No matter where you land politically, or what you look like, you should at least understand why.

And the next time you’re fuming because you have to pay a hefty fine for speeding, keep some perspective. Your anger may be justified, but if you didn’t feel fear because of how you look, you’ve had it relatively easy.

Some of us pay for breaking the law with our credit cards and checkbooks. Some of us pay for it with our lives. Remember which is which.

[Image: vchal/Shutterstock]

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150 Comments on “Traffic Stops Aren’t The Same For All, Which Is Part of America’s Problem...”


  • avatar
    EBFlex

    Oh here we go.

    You have no evidence that anyone else in your position would have been treated differently.

    Also, let’s not lose sight of the fact that in the criminal complaint of the officer charged in Mr Floyd’s death, the medical examiner noted that there was “no evidence of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation”.

    • 0 avatar
      aajax

      Given what everyone saw on the video, no one believes its just a coincidence this guy died during an arrest. Anyway, why blindly believe a medical examiner none of us know?

    • 0 avatar
      aajax

      The medical examiner has not made a final determination. Also, he has an incentive not to see this go to trial, where he has everything to lose and nothing to gain.

      • 0 avatar
        bullnuke

        “he has an incentive not to see this go to trial, where he has everything to lose and nothing to gain” – so, aajax, you are saying that the medical examiner will not tell the truth? For what reason do you believe that he would not tell the truth and what data or information do you have that supports this belief?

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        really, really REALLY dumb.
        do you vote?

    • 0 avatar
      dwford

      At the bare minimum the arresting police were negligent in dealing with Floyd’s obvious medical distress. I am sure none of them intended for Floyd to die, but if they had called the ambulance sooner, and rendered what aid they could in the meantime, instead of holding him in an extreme restraint, he might still be alive. We wouldn’t even know about this arrest if the police had been doing compressions on his chest instead of compressing his neck.

      • 0 avatar
        dal20402

        I don’t think they intended him to die at the beginning, but once he had gone totally limp and silent and the officer kept his knee on the neck for over two more minutes, there is no way to interpret that decision except intentional or reckless homicide.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        Any threat was subdued at that point. Why was he on the dude’s neck. You use force up to to the amount required to subdue the threat and then you are done. You don’t get to get your licks in because you are pissed and you don’t continue to sit on the neck of a dude that is cuffed, on the ground, and no longer a threat.

        Make sense? Or do people you round up after a firefight in Iraq or Afghanistan have more rights than minorities in American Cities because those sure as heck were MY ROE.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      Any threat was subdued at that point. Why was he on the dude’s neck. You use force up to to the amount required to subdue the threat and then you are done. You don’t get to get your licks in because you are angry and you don’t continue to sit on the neck of a dude that is cuffed, on the ground, and no longer a threat.

      Make sense? Or do people you round up after a firefight in Iraq or Afghanistan have more rights than minorities in American Cities because those sure as heck were MY ROE.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        In the days before Rodney King, it was just understood that after a police chase, they were gonna beat you to a pulp (and it ain’t fiction), regardless of whether you were putting up a fight or not.

        Even today, attempting to drive past cops standing around that were hoping to arrest or detain, and they will shoot you through the windshield, no questions asked, because they can.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @EBFlucked – “no evidence of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation”

      Autopsy shows asphyxiation as the cause of death. There does not need to be “trauma” to asphyxiate someone. Officers kneeling on your chest is all that is required.

      • 0 avatar
        TrailerTrash

        which autopsy are you referring to?
        there are two

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @TrailerTrash – The family of the deceased released the results of the one they had performed. They have stated that they will also release the results of the “state” autopsy.

          • 0 avatar
            Oberkanone

            Cognitive decline due to age. Dr. Baden is 85 years old. Born in 1934. Cars were still being built from wood in 1934.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        “@EBFlucked – “no evidence of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation”

        Autopsy shows asphyxiation as the cause of death. There does not need to be “trauma” to asphyxiate someone. Officers kneeling on your chest is all that is required.”

        I directly quoted the medical examiner statement from the criminal complaint. I know facts are not your thing but this one will be hard for you to deny.

        https://www.hennepinattorney.org/-/media/Attorney/Derek-Chauvin-Criminal-Complaint.pdf

        • 0 avatar
          mcs

          The independent autopsy stated, “asphyxiation from sustained pressure” was the cause of death. The Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s office report is preliminary as stated in the document in the link you posted. The findings could change in the final report.

        • 0 avatar
          Flipper35

          The findings there say nothing really.

          “The Hennepin County Medical Examiner (ME) conducted Mr. Floyd’s autopsy on May 26, 2020. The full report of the ME is pending but the ME has made the following preliminary findings. The autopsy revealed no physical findings that support a diagnosis of traumatic asphyxia or strangulation. Mr. Floyd had underlying health conditions including coronary artery disease and hypertensive heart disease. The combined effects of Mr. Floyd being restrained by the police, his underlying health conditions and any potential intoxicants in his system likely contributed to his death. “

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            “Underlying health conditions” don’t change a thing, legally.

            If I launch a raw egg at you’re head and you die because you have a weak skull, it’s the same as if I stabbed you with a knife.

        • 0 avatar
          Lou_BC

          @EBFlucked –

          Once again you demonstrate your ignorance. “no evidence of traumatic asphyxiation or strangulation”.

          I merely pointed out that asphyxiation can occur without trauma. A knee to the side of the neck IS a form of strangulation. In that case, they did not see evidence of trauma.

          • 0 avatar
            EBFlex

            It’s ok Lou_MR. I don’t expect you to understand much of anything when facts are involved. But don’t be sad. You tried and you did your best.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      When I’m caught in a choke that compresses the airway, I’m lucky if I can exert some grunts and keep myself from drooling while trying to work out of it.

      Obviously the guy could breathe or he wouldn’t have been speaking clearly. It was likely a blood choke compressing his carotid arteries, where only his brain is starved of oxygen and he was blacking out. Not sure that would qualify as true asphyxiation, or have any symptoms of it.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        Minneapolis Police records indicate suspects were rendered unconscious 44 times in the last 5 years from this tactic and half the time they required medical attention from the force tactic.

        If it’s not deadly for 99% of suspects it’s used on, a kill is a kill.

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      You can pick apart that video, but there are plenty of people that are in prison for murder over far less evidence. Honestly if you have that high of an evidentiary standard @ebflex, you must be shocked that OJ Simpson and Casey Anthony even made it to trial.

      • 0 avatar
        EBFlex

        I didn’t make any comment on guilt or innocence. I simply quoted the criminal complaint.

        I do hold the Hennepin County Medical Examiner in higher regard than a guy who goes around the country and shows an ala cart menu to the buyer of his services prior to issuing his opinion. Unfortunately the second autopsy will give the defense a lot of ammo to create reasonable doubt.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Why? The County M.E. is no less of an interested party.

          Again, I don’t see it as relevant. The guy was clearly restrained and cuffed. Why was the officer still on his neck? That to me is the most pertinent question. Force is used in response to force at a proportional level and only to subdue a threat. Once the threat is subdued, the use of force is no longer an option.

          Cop went beyond this, dude died,. That is on the Officer.

        • 0 avatar
          DenverMike

          Is there any “doubt” (beyond the clear excessive force) the cop kept his knee on the neck of the unconscious Mr. Floyd from the time paramedics were called until they arrived?

          Yes in the time they should’ve been giving him first aid? In fact, he kept his knee on his neck a full minute after paramedics arrived!

          WTF???

          The other 3 cops should be charged with manslaughter in the VERY LEAST.

  • avatar
    aajax

    That about says it all, except for suggested solutions. I don’t have any either but a couple things might help.

    1. Body cameras for all cops
    2. Cameras on all the cop cars
    3. Limits on withholding videos
    4. Community review boards
    5. Automatic statistics reporting to a national data base, including reasons and locations of stops and reason for drawing of a weapon.
    6. End no-knock raids.
    7. End of qualified immunity.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Thanks to a stupid police officer, the whole world right now is laughing. Just recently we were teaching everybody, like in Hong Kong, Russia, Philippines, Iran, etc how to treat people and protesters. Today Iran issued an official demand for humain treatment of protesters by cops in US.

      • 0 avatar
        Jon

        LOLOLOL!!! Im suuuuure that the police of all these countries, especially Iran, treat their protestors soooo muuuuuch better. ROFL!

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          Eh… you are not getting the point. Keep laughing.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Ok. Im finished laughing. What is the point?

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Jon – the point is rather simple, if totalitarian regimes with a poor human rights record are says, “Hey, look at the USA and their atrocities”, don’t you think that means something is seriously wrong?

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Totalitarian regimes scolding the USA for human rights violations is like a drunk telling someone who had two beers to stop drinking even though the drunk has no intention of stopping. Their recommendation does not carry ANY weight due to their own practices regarding “human rights violations”.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I mean there are issues here for sure, but no, I think countries like China are just looking for the embarrassment factor. I mean, at the end of the day you can’t breathe with a tank on your neck either.

          • 0 avatar
            Ryan Cawdor

            @Jon…They don’t treat their citizens any better…which is both kinda the point and the irony. ‘Murica doesn’t either…

            @Jon “Their recommendation does not carry ANY weight due to their own practices regarding “human rights violations.”…uh, you do realize that’s the pot (‘Murica) calling the kettle…oh never mind.

            America’s recommendations carry no weight either, considering it was founded on human rights violations…hmmm, that’s not totally accurate now that I think about it, as slaves weren’t considered human, and they had no rights…

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          These is another point to this as well. Now, these regimes will tell to their people – look, you want like America, you think America is any different? See, before there wasn’t internet. And when national guard killed student protesters nobody around the work knew about it. But youtube is not only the great way to spread democracy but also compromise it.

        • 0 avatar
          slavuta

          This is where America is today:

          “The UN human rights chief on Thursday condemned the killing of 46-year-old George Floyd while in police custody in the city of Minneapolis, calling it the latest in “a long line of killings of unarmed African Americans by US police officers and members of the public”.”

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Fu*king unbelievable that this is what it’s come to.

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            @Jon – in your eyes those regimes opinions carry no weight but those regimes are not interested in your opinion. They see it as a tool to help keep their own populations in line and it is also one more example of the USA loosing its ability to lead the world. You may think that is not a problem but if the USA isn’t leading the planet, who is? China, Russia, Iran etc. Erosion of stature is cumulative. It hurts the USA and its residents if it is no longer the leader.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Sounds like this is a win-win since neither of us care about the others opinion. How they keep their subjects in line is entirely up to them. The opinion of the totalitarian subjects are probably not swayed by the “brutality” of our police force, which is like tinkerbell with a baton compared to their totalitarian police force. I suspect that most folks looking for “freedom”, are still likely to choose the USA over any totalitarian regime…

          • 0 avatar
            Lou_BC

            “Sounds like this is a win-win since neither of us care about the others opinion.”

            I would not have posted if I didn’t care about your opinion.

            All this makes the USA look bad which undermines its “power’ on the global stage.

          • 0 avatar
            Jon

            Lou,

            I was referring to Iran and I, not you and I.

        • 0 avatar
          Ryan Cawdor

          They don’t treat their citizens any better…which is both kinda the point and the irony. ‘Murica doesn’t either…

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      aajax

      i know you.
      you drive around alone in your car with a face mask on.

      silly person

  • avatar
    Cactuar

    That’s it, I’m done with TTAC.
    I don’t agree with what the police officer did, that’s not the point.
    But I don’t come here to read about this stuff. I want car content.
    I’ll be going elsewhere to get that from now on.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      I explicitly linked this to cars, and explicitly avoided politics. I don’t write this if I don’t get pulled over the same weekend that protesters are clashing with police less than 30 minutes from where I was stopped. There’s a link to cars. A small one, as I conceded in the piece, but a link.

      • 0 avatar
        Nikolai

        Tim, this was solid article and you didn’t dive into the politics here. Don’t pay any mind to Cactuar or anyone who wants to pretend there isn’t a national conversation necessary about policing.
        We can disagree on what should change, but it’s naive to pretend nothing is wrong.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          He didn’t have to dive in to politics…He knew in posting it what would happen. It’s a business though…gotta get them clicks.

          • 0 avatar
            Tim Healey

            I never post or authorize a pitch solely for the clicks. That said, if I think a story is interesting and you folks are going to click, then yes, that’s a factor. All stories you read were published because the editor thought the audience would read it. That’s just basic journalism.

            That said, yes I know certain topics will generate more clicks.

            Yet, we don’t just publish to stir the pot. I don’t sit here and think “how can I rile the B and B and make VerticalScope happy today?” I think “Will the B and B find this post worth their time? I hope so.” See the difference?

            The exception is the commerce posts. Those pay some bills, so we love when you shop via our posts :)

          • 0 avatar
            TrailerTrash

            exactly.
            and he DID dive in bringing up his white privilege and how he is uncomfortable in his own skin.
            he should begin with 1000 push-ups and finish with a good reed whacking on himself doing penance.

      • 0 avatar
        karmang46

        I stopped visiting Jalopnik due to trash articles like this. Best of luck to you.

    • 0 avatar
      texasjack

      This is right on. I don’t need this type of talk on a car site. Adios.

    • 0 avatar
      jagerninja

      Man, I wish I lived in the same world you lived in where politics didn’t intersect with other parts of my life and I didn’t have to think critically about these things.

      • 0 avatar
        ktm

        That’s because they are little snowflakes (who like to project) who can’t deal with the fact that they have been wrong, continue to be wrong, with all of their thoughts, beliefs, and faith in the leaders they elected.

        • 0 avatar
          Art Vandelay

          Maybe, or maybe they are having a similar reaction that someone turning on their evening news to see what is going on in the world would have and instead of your standard news format got something akin to motorweek would have. Imagine turning on Meet the Press and instead of Stephanaupolis discussing politics you got Jeremy Clarkson yelling about “More Powwwwwwer”.

          People can get politics anywhere and there are frankly better sources than this forum. Solid car reviews and discussion, not so much.

    • 0 avatar

      “I’m done with TTAC”

      Thank you for your service and goodbye.

    • 0 avatar
      bunkie

      I’m with you. I *knew* the moment that I saw the headline, that this wasn’t going to end well.

      These days, and at this point in my life, I have no bandwidth whatsoever to entertain the willful blindness of anyone. Our fellow citizens are being murdered by the police. In America. In 2020. That *anyone* speaks as an apologist to this ongoing crime is proof that we have completely abandoned our principles.

  • avatar
    jawolk

    Tim, well done and thanks for your courage on this topic. Is there an intersection between cars and racism-induced police misconduct – yep, there most certainly is.

    I am white and live in the Chicago greater area. Tomorrow, in the suburb where I live there will be a protest against what happened to George Floyd in Minneapolis and racism-induced police misconduct in general.

    I will be there to protest peacefully. Small thing as it is, it is something I *can* do in light of these disheartening circumstances.

    • 0 avatar
      Oberkanone

      Do you live in Aurora? Maybe Calumet City? Black owned businesses looted, police cars burned, bank atms looted,…

      Disheartening indeed.

      • 0 avatar
        jawolk

        @Oberkanone

        Great! then I’m sure you will take heart, support, and even cheer the fact that on Tuesday afternoon I (and others) went out into my community and peacefully protested racially-motivated police brutality against African American citizens of this country.

        How could I be so assured of your positivity toward this endeavor??

        Why, because what I and the others did yesterday was to engage in an activity that is protected by the United States Constitution, of course!

        In case you are wondering I will more plainly lay it out for you: there was no violence, looting, theft, improper conduct, or property damage of any sort. The public sidewalk where we exercised our constitutionally-protected right is located within a few hundred yards of a large retail store which remained OPEN throughout the event with no disruption to its operations whatsoever.

        Score one for democracy, folks… even if it did happen in my small community on the outskirts of greater Chicago.

        • 0 avatar
          Oberkanone

          So, not Calumet City? Not Markham. Not Harvey. Not Chicago Heights. Not Englewood.

          Murder of African American citizens in and around Chicago is perpetrated by African American citizens in and around Chicago >90% of deaths.

  • avatar
    dwford

    I’ve watched way too much Live PD over the last year, and it really is amazing what cops have to go through. I can easily see how they would become jaded on the job when the entirely of their job is dealing with lying lawbreakers.

    Nearly every Live PD encounter seems to begin with a minor traffic violation – failure to signal, taillight out, etc. You can definitely start to wonder if these minor issues should be something the police even bother with, but keep watching, because many many times that minor traffic violating is just the tip of the iceberg. Drunk drivers, drug dealers, outstanding warrants, illegal guns etc are commonly found during these stops. So do you want the police to ignore the missed turn signal when it allows the heroin dealer to drive right by? Tough call. Is it really overpolicing when crimes are actually found?

    I’m white, and I’ve been stopped by the police. I’ve been annoyed, but not afraid, because I know at worst I’m getting a ticket of some kind. I don’t have any other issue that might come up. So are people really afraid of the police, or are they afraid because of what they are doing or of what they’ve already done?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      As with “COPS”, “LIVE PD” only promotes the highlights that show officers in a good light.

      Still, once you know your “rights” (while watching the shows), the rate of rights/Constitutional violations is astounding. It could be a drinking game.

  • avatar
    bkojote

    @ebflex

    1. Philando Castille.
    2. “Independent autopsy”

    Let’s be real, you’re just looking for an excuse to be racist, or youre too dumb to google.

  • avatar
    Lie2me

    Hi all, everybody have a super day :)

  • avatar
    Kenn

    In my long life, I’ve been stopped for speeding a number of times, but half the time I’ve gotten off with a warning. When stopped, I always turn the engine off, lower my window, and have both hands on the wheel, with dr. license, registration, and insurance card in my left hand. I answer questions when asked, but otherwise stay silent. I’d like to think that is why I’ve never had a problem. In the ’70s, when I had long hair and drove a “windowless” van, I was stopped weekly, it seemed, just for the cop to shine a flashlight inside to “see what’s going on in there.” They do have biases, and I always keep in mind that law enforcement will draw a higher-than-average percentage of sociopaths and sadists when dealing with them.

    • 0 avatar
      backtees

      Good lesson but you made a mistake. Don’t grab anything until you are asked – what cop wants to see a driver looking in glove box or center armrest? And yes they do watch what you do before they walk up.

      Was “lucky” to get pulled over very late one night on the interstate while coming back from a ball game with my 16 year old daughter in the car. I told her ok, put yourself in the shoes of the Trooper and lets make it easy for him. You are about to learn a lesson. Turn on interior lights, roll all windows down, my hands are on the wheel, you put yours in your lap or on the dash. He thought I may be tipsy after following me for 2 miles as at one point I may have touched a line. But i dont drink, had a waffle house coffee in the cup holder and was totally polite. Was released with a “be safe”

      Now if you want to have a debate on if i was a minority or if he followed me waiting for prop. cause to pull me over or if i was in a Escalade, Altima, or F150 etc would same would have happened then thats for another day…..wait that may be the debate we are having now!! BTW was driving a rented Dodge Journey.

  • avatar
    jack4x

    Thanks for this post Tim.

  • avatar
    tomLU86

    Some of you people have to got to be kidding me!

    Watch the video!

    The problem is TWOFOLD:

    1. Minorities are treated more harshly by cops.
    2. Cops in general are power hungry, and think they are better than the rest of us. Especially the uniformed ones who do traffic stops, and don’t command the respect or salary of detectives.

    And as most people on this website realize, most traffic stops are illegitimate. They are another means to raise revenue, like corrupt traffic cameras.

    Illinois needs money. The motorist is an easy target.

    Are you a reckless moron, Tim Healey? If not, I’d venture to say your traffic ticket was pure revenue generation. You should be outraged–but you put it in perspective “at least he cop didn’t kill me or beat me”. Good for you.

    For evil to triumph, all that needs to happens if for good men (and women) to do nothing.

    How many of you fight unfair traffic tickets? It’s easier to pay.

    How many of you fight traffic cameras? The laws that create speed traps? Nah…too busy.

    How many of you hound your elected officials to NOT abuse black citizens?

    I’m certainly not 3/3. But I’m a solid 1.5 out of three.

    Bad laws make cops bad.

    Lack of accountability makes bad cops.

    That’s for EVERYONE. Add discrimination or hatred to the mix and you have that despicable murder, on video. And now you have the predictable result in the streets.

    • 0 avatar
      TrailerTrash

      tomLU86

      how you struggle with data.
      we can discuss the real data all night long, and it would take that long before you ran away.
      cops treat minorities worse.
      what an idiotic, meaningless thing to say without other data.
      how is this for an example…who commits more black on black crime?
      whois responsible;le for more crimes per group…minorities or , um, i guess whites???

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        It’s been a few years since I watched it, but this retired Baltimore police officer left me with the impression that minorities were/are targeted.

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ndg-JGmYryA

        If the link isn’t showing up it’s Joe Rogan Experience #670 – Michael A. Wood Jr.

        I see he appeared again on #808 and I’ve only seen one so I’ll be watching one too.

  • avatar
    ajla

    “You may also ask what this has to do with cars. The answer is, not a ton. I’ll grant that.”

    This isn’t a bad editorial (IMO it is *worlds better* than what you wrote for shelter-in-place) but I do hope you’re careful about regularly posting on controversial topics with only a strained relationship to automobiles.

    However, you aren’t the first TTAC editor to do this sort of thing (I can find examples from Farago on down) and I’m sure you won’t be the last.

    My biggest request though is that if you are going to wade into such hot button issues, *please* make a real commitment to moderate the comments section so it doesn’t into a ridiculous flame war.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      We do our best to moderate. Please remember we’re all multi-tasking. And also, the Hertz post that led to spam problems happened on a holiday weekend when we were away from our computers. We should be able to respond to issues more quickly on a normal workday.

    • 0 avatar

      @ajla Every topic is controversial now. People are so divided that will be on each others throats at no time for any reason.

  • avatar
    Duaney

    We all drive cars and we all get stopped. Part of the car culture. There’s good cops, (most of), but there’s a few bad one’s. I don’t believe that kneeling on a guy’s neck, while hand cuffed on the ground is a rational procedure of restraint. To me that’s an example of a bad cop. His fellow cops should have moderated but they stood by, I’m not impressed with them either. I’ve had minority friends that have always been terrified of a traffic stop. This is 40-50 years ago and to date. They make sure that every brake light, turn signal, headlights work perfectly. They never speed and always signal. It’s wrong for any person to be terrified of a traffic stop for a minor violation. Will this ever change?

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I did see a demonstrator taken to the ground in Dallas (on YouTube) and the one cop did the knee to the neck, and the 2nd cop physically pulled his knee off his neck, as bystanders were yelling at the 1st cop to get off his neck.

      It was a white kid arrested, and that’s besides the point. So I don’t know if we’re seeing change of some sort, temporary or otherwise.

  • avatar
    puddleJumper

    Judging by the lack of fresh content, TTAC is in a downward spiral. Now this. If I wanted leftist progressive b.s. I’d come here. I don’t and I won’t.
    Get woke, go broke.

    • 0 avatar
      Tim Healey

      Where did I say anything leftist? Did you miss the part where I said I was avoiding the political debate?

      You do realize we employ staff from all over the political spectrum, right? And that staffers who are conservative have often written op-eds from that perspective on these hallowed pages?

      We have no specific political agenda, but we do go our writers the occasional chance to write an op-ed, regardless if they’re liberal, libertarian, or conservative.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        So if there is a Lion and a Tiger in the same room, and you toss a side of beef in that room and walk away, you aren’t really “avoiding” anything.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Nicely said, Art.

          It’s like starting a sentence with “No offense, but” an then saying something offensive. Somehow prefixing the statement with “no offense” forbids you form being offended, regardless of what is said.

          • 0 avatar
            Art Vandelay

            I did 20 years in the military. Yes, it is akin to someone saying “With all due respect l, sir”. Whatever follows will not be respectful. I will say I had that said to me on one occasion, and I completely deserved it.

        • 0 avatar
          Daniel J

          @Art,

          This has to be the best thing I’ve heard all week. I’m going to have to use that one.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    I grew up in a very wealthy, all-white suburb west of St. Louis, right off I-64, west of I-270. I’m not going to name it, but if want to do a quick google mapping search of the coordinates I just mentioned, you’ll figure it out pretty quickly.

    A few of my experiences growing up there…
    1) One night, when I went into a gas station to pay for my fill-up, there were a couple of the town’s cops joking with the clerk about how many n***ers they pulled over that night.
    2) I had a job in a local office, and to get there from the freeway, you had to either go through this town, or go out of your way to avoid it. Some of my black coworkers made the mistake of going through it. They were *all* rewarded by being pulled over and simply detained for 20-30 minutes, then let loose. For the record, our office had a dress code, so these folks were all wearing business attire.
    3) “Driving while black” was an unofficial crime in St. Louis, and cops pulling black folks over was so commonplace that it was almost a third professional team sport.

    Think it doesn’t happen anymore in St. Louis? Guess again. A couple of years ago, the police chief of Ladue, another wealthy suburb, got canned after he refused to engage in more racial profiling. Racial profiling also played a huge role in the Ferguson riots – the folks at City Hall used to trade racist emails *using the city’s email system*. The only thing that surprised me about Ferguson was that it took so damn long to happen. People will only put up with this s**t for so long.

    Yeah, this stuff happens. I’m not going to go out of my way to embellish my “I’m with you guys” bonafides, but it doesn’t take much human empathy to imagine just how it feels. I’d feel humiliated…and ANGRY that I’d be required to pay taxes for this kind of garbage.

  • avatar
    CBXweb

    Who knew so many commenters have such thin skin?

  • avatar
    tylanner

    Driving is a minefield in more ways than one…and our officers are charged with the responsibility to decide what should be done in a particular situation.

    It should be our common goal to ensure that that responsibility is dutifully carried out and that bad actors are permanently eliminated from the force…

  • avatar
    Urlik

    Try an experiment. Switch to a nasty, rusted out beater and speed in a known drug area. I’m sure you’ll have an entirely different experience.

  • avatar
    Dave M.

    Great write up Tim. Food for thought.

  • avatar
    slavuta

    Everything starts with the law. A dude selling illegal cigarettes? Fine. Give him a citation, confiscate the product. And he needs to appear in court. If he doesn’t now he is a game.

    Fake $$$.. This is different. This is federal. Why step on the guy’s head? Tie him up, put on the side walk, call the FBI. How hard that is?

    Protesters. These are not protesters but criminals. If they want to burn something, burn city hall, police department, state legislature.. No, they want to steal..

  • avatar
    alterboy21

    Thank you for the post. It does relate to cars and here is how:

    IF YOU ARE BLACK, YOU PAY AN ADDITIONAL PRICE FOR ENJOYING A NICE CAR.

    I live in Chicago as well and have been pulled over a number of times for being dark skinned and driving a nice car. I get tailed in the North Shore neighborhoods and pulled over for foot faults all the time. Once I was even pulled over in my own suburb, for “loud revving” and while pulled over, someone in the parking lot shouted “black lives matter” at the cop. The tension went way up and was only cooled when the cop saw the address on my license was in town. This does not happen to my white friends, when I drive boring cars or in diverse communities.

    Here’s the kicker, I am not black (only dark skinned). So I get pulled over, but once they get a closer look, you can see the tension drop. If I am black, I don’t know that the additional harassment, tension, and possible incidents is worth my passion for cars.

  • avatar
    redapple

    What is that Chris Rock comedy skit?
    ” #[email protected]% folks, easy way to NOT get beat by the cops?’ ‘ Do what they say!”

    I ll add.
    1- dont do a crime.
    2- when confronted by police, dont fight,
    3- when arrested dont fight,
    4- when in the police car. dont kick out the car windows.

    You see. Fighting the evil cops is not a perfect system. 100,000 arrests around the country per day, Something is bound to go wrong. I m surprised it doesn’t happen more.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      This is what Johnnie Cochran said in relation to California police

    • 0 avatar
      Art Vandelay

      I am a citizen, not a subject. Want respect and compliance? Police your own. Stop with the “Thin Blue Line” BS. Ensure Bad Cops are held accountable and when you execute a no knock raid on the wrong house and the homeowner has the gall to fire his legally owned firearm at you and you somehow shoot his girlfriend 8 times, don’t charge him with attempted murder.

      And yes, spare me your “fog of battle BS…I may be one of the few on here that has actually performed a breach. It was something we trained for for weeks and weeks on end basically doing nothing else, and that is just to make sure you don’t shoot the dudes in your own stack basically, working up from basically sticks to live rounds. And oh yeah, blast someone unarmed behind the door? Leavenworth awaits. These clowns kicked in the door and proceded to spray and pray.

      But yes, frankly until Cops begin to clean their house, they will receive the minimum cooperation from me required by law and any such interactions will be filmed if possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Nikolai

      Philando Castille still got shot for doing everything you said.
      Tamir Rice still got shot.

      I’ll spare you going through others, but following police orders does not protect you. Watch any of the videos out there from this weekend of police charging at and assaulting peaceful protesters.

  • avatar
    Imagefont

    The police are just people, no smarter or better at their jobs than you are at yours. They do stupid things, they cheat, they have bad days and some of them are bad apples. More complexly, most of these bad apples do the right thing most of the time.
    It’s best to avoid giving them and excuse to lose their minds. But being white does not put me in fear of the police, and being black just might put the police in fear of me.
    Regardless, the police should be held to a higher standard and the truth is they’re held to a much lower standard. Amber Guyger got off very leniently for shooting a man in his own apartment while sitting on his couch, eating ice cream. She’ll be out in five years. If a black made has shot an off duty white police officer in her own apartment the trial would have gone very differently.
    The ink wasn’t even dry on the words “all men are created equal” when that promise was broken.

  • avatar
    Arthur Dailey

    Coming off age in the 1970’s in Scarborough, known at different times as ‘Scarberia’ or ‘Scharlem’ as a group of young white, long haired males, we were pulled over, stopped or questioned by the police at least once per week. The reason being that we fit the profile of most law breakers, young and male.

    During that period, I had loaded firearms pointed at me on 3 separate occasions by law officers (Florida, US Border, and Scarborough). Yes, twice by U.S. law enforcement officials despite spending most of my time in Canada and being pulled over by police in Canada at least a few hundred times.

    A police officer has only seconds to make a determination. They must often make a ‘stop’ based on ‘probabilities’ or a partial description of a suspect or a vehicle. So a young male or males, in the area of a crime or driving at night are most likely to be pulled over as they are most likely to have or preparing to commit a crime.

    I had one close friend on the force who pulled over an American plated car for a traffic stop, called in the information and was informed that the driver was wanted for murder and for shooting a police officer in the USA. Traffic stops are up there with answering domestics for putting an officer at risk.

    However, I (we) realized that eventually we would become white, middle aged males, and therefore fall of the radar of ‘street cops’.

    That does not happen for those males of African descent. Regardless of their age or social standing, they are still susceptible to police stops. In particular if they are driving an expensive vehicle or in a ‘nice’ neighbourhood. Referred to as ‘driving while black’. Which is of course demeaning, and perceived as evidence that they are only viewed by authorities through the prism of race.

    This exacerbates the problem as successful, articulate and ‘connected’ people of African descent, become justifiably upset by this, and publicize their experience.

    This naturally creates greater mistrust of the police among some segments of the population. If as is the case in the USA those stops too often result in injuries or even death for those ‘stopped’ then resentment is the natural end result.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Two things:

      1) We have a former longtime county executive who is a black man, now in his 60s, with a distinctive face. Everyone in town knows who he is. He published an op-ed a while back about how often he got pulled over and harassed by the police.

      2) With that, and your experiences as a young white man in mind… be aware that young black men are pulled over just as disproportionately, compared to young white men, as older black men are compared to older white men.

  • avatar
    redapple

    Post was too LONG

  • avatar
    S197GT

    “Traffic Stops Aren’t The Same For All, Which Is Part of America’s Problem”

    Duh… anyone care to tell me where I can move to where everyone is treated the same?

    All this protest and rioting has, in my view, very little to do with cops. This is about the inequality that is inherit in our existence. People are fed up, they need to blow off some steam…

    And then things will go (pretty much) right back to the way they were.

    • 0 avatar
      slavuta

      Let me tell you about traffic stop in Ukraine in 1997. So, I came there, hired a minivan with a driver. We go, 2AM. Highway. Suddenly block-post right in the middle. Full stop. 6 dudes with machine guns on ready. Police supper corrupt over there back then. They checked the car, claimed that they are looking for a similar car, let us go. I wonder, how this would go if it was only driver and not 4 people.

      I mean, for the reference, things like this used to happen back then – cops stop you, take your documents. Then a car loaded with gangsters comes, cops leave, and leave you with these dudes. They ask you to give them your car, documents for the car, etc. And they have a gun and a notary public with them and you will sign a paper that you let this dude do anything with your car

  • avatar
    FThorn

    Idea: submission cuffs/shakles. driver/occupants put on to show submission for traffic stop. Perhaps 18-24 inch day-glo bar that covers hands/fingers, and keeps them in sight, perhaps illuminated in some way; perhaps clear plastic over hands to show nothing dangerous in hands. some indicator that it is secure/locked and the officer can unlock, but person submitting cannot readily/easily/quickly. Any harm comes to person submitting carries mandatory consequence for stopping/arresting officers. Idea, I know you hate it, but aside from magic fingers snapping people into dealing with confrontation in unanimously safe way, let’s hear your better ideas.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      -Mandatory non-defeatable body cams on all officers and squad cars.

      -An independent, elected official separate from the DA’s office oversees all decisions about indicting/charging officers with crimes. This would reduce the inherent conflict of interest that currently exists where prosecutors both need police to make their cases against other defendants, but are also responsible for punishing the “bad apples”.

      -Any officer convicted of a crime while on duty automatically receives the maximum sentence for that crime, with no eligibility for parole.

      Tough? Yes. But police officers are given unique powers to legally deprive citizens of life and liberty. That power must be handled with the utmost respect, and consequences for failing to do so must be harsh.

      • 0 avatar
        Art Vandelay

        If you are a clean cop, I can’t imagine you would fight bnody cams. If you are clean, all they can do is save your kiester. But yeah, maybe repurpose a little of that cash you (Local PD’s) spend on radar and traffic enforcement keeping me “safe” and spend some money on keeping yourself accountable.

        • 0 avatar
          brn

          Imagine someone filming everything you do at work? It’s takes some getting used to and you can’t blame law enforcement for needing time to adapt.

          Having said that, most cops learn to love cameras. Frequently, a suspect will make some claim and threaten to file a complaint. The officer will remind the suspect that he has audio and video recording of the incident. The suspect back off on the threat.

          The camera is more likely to get the officer out of trouble than get him into trouble.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            A body cam is extremely unlikely to get a cop into trouble. The cams have a way of magically deleting their own footage, or accidentally not ON at the time of the incident.

            That’s why (bad) cops hate civilians recording them. They have zero control over the recording.

      • 0 avatar
        rpn453

        These are the reforms I’d like to see, jack4x.

  • avatar
    Lou_BC

    Living in a smaller town and working in ER and as a paramedic, most of the traffic cops knew me so that really changed the dynamics. Even after I left the ambulance service and wasn’t in ER a lot, I usually did not have any issues. The only 2 times were with cops with reputations as azzholes. Even their fellow officers thought they were azzholes.
    I did get stopped once late at night by an officer and he parked out in the street and did not approach until backup arrived. I had made sure my ID and papers were visible on the dash and I deliberately kept both hands up high and visible on the steering wheel. It turned out my truck and I resembled a suspect in a violent assault. The officer was very apologetic afterwards.

    A colleague of mine who is married to a black professor, her 2 sons look black. Both had been checked and detained several times by police. Both are straitlaced as they come. One was working as a pizza delivery driver and was returning home late and was arrested as he was walking into his own yard.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      I personally knew a white police officer who was stopped and detained for walking into his own front yard after working a shift (in another city).

      Once his identity was verified, they had a laugh about it.

  • avatar
    Art Vandelay

    At the end of the day, something needs to be done about the looting of private businesses. Given the nature of this honestly I don’t even care about the torched cop cars and attacks on police properties. But some poor SOB is trying to keep his or her business going in tough times and you want to destroy that…that is wrong.

    But what is worse is that the freaking Cops that started all this won’t step in and stop that. What are we paying them for?

    Anyhow, remember the government’s unwillingness and inability to defend the property and potential safety of those innocent people they claim to “protect and serve” the next time people bristle at the “Why do you need” argument with respect to firearms. I need it because it is demonstrated time and time again that if the poop hits the fan the only one that is 100 percent dedicated to protecting my family (Honestly, my home, business and contents therein are replaceable but the people that may be in them at the wrong place at the wrong time are not.) is me.

    But other than that sort of destruction, I mean what do you expect people to do. Cops have been screwing these populations for over 100 years with little accountability. Imagine before cell phones and viral videos. They are mad. In other news, water is wet.

    • 0 avatar
      Daniel J

      Don’t tell the folks here(we live in the same city) that. They are all upset that the police here were pre-emptive and tried to squash it before looting and violence occurred. Even after the Mayor begged them to leave and disperse.

      In my home town of Jacksonville, FL, the police tried to prevent the looting and violence but the media cast them as the instigators when all they were trying to do is prevent destruction.

      So guess what, the majority of people DON’T want the cops there, period.

  • avatar
    ToolGuy

    SPEEDING: When I was young and dumb and moved to The Motor City to work for The Big Car Company, got enough tickets in a short enough time that the State of Michigan sent me a “statistically, you’re going to kill yourself” letter and threw me into a high-risk insurance pool (in a no-fault state) for a year. Paying insurance rates that would have covered a nice car payment convinced me that habitual speeding is Not The Key to A Happy Life™. (This approach was reinforced the day I drove my firstborn home from the hospital – because You See Things™ working for a car company if you’re paying attention.)

    LAW ENFORCEMENT: I am glad I am not a police officer. Had a police officer in my extended family, but he killed himself.

    RACISM: It is real. What are three things I can do as an individual to help address it? (This is a serious question – it is not a claim of innocence or helplessness.) Please tell me.

  • avatar
    jkross22

    This article is about traffic stops, so I’ll keep my comments fenced into that topic.

    A few years ago, a YT tech reviewer named Flossy Carter made a video with very specific advice to young black men at how to keep traffic stops as calm as possible. Flossy Carter is a big, black guy with tattoos and an aggressive sounding voice. It’s clear he has experience being pulled over by cops.

    We live in a world where Carter’s advice should be heeded. It sucks that is the case. Maybe soon we will stop missing opportunities to address this problem.

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Flexy, you lose again, George Floyd died of asphyxiation. I know you were really hoping to troll us hard, but you flamed out miserably.

  • avatar
    TrailerTrash

    “I realize there are plenty of good cops,…”

    OK.
    That’s it.
    No more reading on this.
    What an idiotic statement.
    Not only a Firm Grasp Of The Obvious, but a firmer grasp of the understatement!
    Plenty of good cops.
    plenty of good people.
    plenty of good soldiers.
    plenty of good politicians.
    plenty of good parents.
    etc, etc.

    Oh, my…how really, really dumb.

  • avatar
    HotPotato

    Good for you, Tim.

    It would be nice if the troll brigade that dominates this blog’s comments section would just pause and think about what you said. They won’t, so I’m going to try to avoid reading the comments. But good for you for trying. Truly.

  • avatar
    bobbysirhan

    Do any of the people still living in Obama’s Amerika even know who Duncan Lemp was? If you’re a white criminal in the US, you’re more likely to be killed by police than if you’re a black criminal. I believe what happened to George Floyd was wrong, but that makes him an outlier in the entire BLM farce. It may be horrible to watch a counterfeiter being killed by a terrible union cop whose job was protected by his union and their bought Democrat Amy Klobuchar, but the reality is that any American who worries about innocently dying at the hands of the police is ignoring the 93% of black homicide victims who died at the hands of blacks that they needed more police activity to protect them from. Weakening policing will only get more blacks killed, but Democrats tell blacks that they need to fear the police. Stop.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      The challenge is that this is a highly emotional issue. People don’t want or care to hear about the underlying data, as it does nothing to address their feelings.

      The media knows this and continues to pump out emotional stories. It’s too bad, because when emotions get too strong, bad (and good) things can happen. But that helps ratings, so…

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      Who said anything about “weakening policing”? As if police brutality can’t be extricated? Or separated?

      It’s all the same to you?

      Although there is always too many criminals created out of thin air, warrantless searches, planting evidence, false arrests, unnecessary force, violation of rights, etc.

      Or just normal everyday policing to you.

  • avatar

    In all 20 years I am in US I was stopped only once by CHP because I got lost and he helped me with directions. I actually stopped on the shoulder first and next thing CHP car pulled over to ask me if I have any problem. In Russia in contrast I was stopped by highway police every trip out of the town at least once just because they did not like my face, or my car of to solicit bribes in cash!

  • avatar
    lwest

    To all the “good Germans” posting there ignorant BS here, I’ll leave you with a quote from William Shirer:

    “No class or group or party in Germany could escape its share of responsibility for the abandonment of the democratic Republic and the advent of Adolf Hitler. The cardinal error of the Germans who opposed Nazism was their failure to unite against it.”

    All the Fox parrots here should spend some time reading and learn a little bit about the powers they are energizing with their hateful attitudes and ignorance.

  • avatar
    brn

    Not political? B*llsh*t. Just look at the comments above. It’s political. You knew what the reaction would be.

    Nothing like an armchair quarterback with a blog.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    im a middle aged white guy, been pulled over 3 times since january, all justifiable, and given warnings each time. tinted windows down, both LED domelights on, engine/radio off, hazards on, both hands on wheel. i figure whatever i can do to ease their mind makes me look better.

    one time i was asked who my insurance was through. geico. dunno if they were double checking or because geico heavily subsidizes police depts. but they were def the cheapest for me and still are.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    Thanx Tim ! .

    It’s good to have people actually stop and think, even the obvious and open racists .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    tobiasfunkemd

    Thank you for posting this Tim. I appreciate the efforts of TTAC to conscientiously consider how to use this platform. There truly are two Americas when it comes to interactions with police, and we are paying the price for failing to address it constructively and proactively.

  • avatar
    PeteRR

    The one that really hit home for me was Philando Castile. Pulled over for a traffic violation as a pretext because a robbery suspect drove a similar car in the area days before. He told the cop he had a carry permit as we were taught to do in CC class. The cop just straight up gunned him down.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shooting_of_Philando_Castile

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    It amounts to rights violations, the extreme end. But it starts with little things, like your licence plate lights are too dim, or 3rd brake light is out. Or not tracking the center of the lane.

    Then it move on to loopholes, sidestepping the Constitution. Such as pulling you out of the car, cuffing, with zero crime in sight. Of course then the cop will ask for proof of insurance and registration (while you’re in bondage, sitting the curb).

    Or the cop says he (or she) will retrieve it, starting the look for them in the trunk, under the seats and moving forward.

    And or they’ll demand ID from all the passengers, that are otherwise free from (a 4th Amendment breach) showing their papers, giving up their ID (without a crime), same as if they’re walking down the street, minding their own business.

    Even on the cop TV shows, they pull drivers and passengers out and photo their tattoos, for the sole purpose of creating file on you, no one but cops can access. It’ll state if you’re combative, a threat, own guns, gang affiliation and more, even if you have zero criminal past.

    It becomes a police culture of robbing the public of their rights, and most don’t even know they were just victimized. They’re just happy with not going to jail AND let off with a warning!

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      I used to think the guys (pulled over) that will only crack the window barely, just enough to slide the licence and info to the cop were asking for trouble, especially if recording the stop.

      Then rolling up the windows and locking the doors, even setting the alarm, when the cop asks them to step out to the back of their car.

      It seemed bizarre behavior, but the more you know cops, and your rights, the more it makes perfect sense.

  • avatar
    don1967

    Toxicology report may cast reasonable doubt on the murder charge; negligent homicide seems more likely to stick.

    One bright spot in this tragedy belongs to the Floyd family, which has earned the right to be enraged and yet is calling on rioters to hold themselves to a higher standard. Kudos to them. Guilty white liberals should follow this lead, and end the “bigotry of low expectations” which is the real racism in America.

    • 0 avatar
      DenverMike

      It went way beyond negligent homicide the minutes that ticked by from the time they called the paramedics, to the time (one minute after, actually) they arrived, and while still standing on his neck.

      There’s a specific reason the cop did that. It’s the same reason cops will unload the whole clip on you, when you were likely dead on the first shot.

      Dead folks don’t sue, don’t talk, don’t testify in (criminal or civil) court, etc. I’ve heard this from cops directly. Except this cop had no ideal (non body cam) cameras were all over him.

  • avatar
    OzCop

    Being a retired police officer I was a bit hesitant at what might be written here considering all that is going on for the past week. I was pleasantly surprised to read the content of your piece, and indeed, agree with every word. I could not have expressed it better myself. I have to say this piece of journalism was spot on and addressed most everything that needed to be addressed on the subject. Sorry about your ticket, but thanks for a clear, concise, and unbiased reflection on this issue…

  • avatar
    Daniel J

    Some rambling thoughts.

    1. Vote in county and municipal elections. On average, most are only at 30 percent turnout across the country vs 50-55 percent for most Presidential Elections. Guess what? The president has very little to do with local police forces. All this protesting? Where was that “voice” in the voting booths? Last Minneapolis mayoral race had 30 percent voter turnout. Protests and the issues will just go silent again unless there is a movement to get candidates that will make changes and to vote for those candidates.

    2. I have no issues with releasing body cam footage to the public once trials are over with. Body cam footage going public will simply taint any jury pool. The Police or the arrested will never get a fair trial.

    3. Police need more training, full stop. Locally here we have a cop facing a murder charge for “suicide by cop”. The cop hadn’t been on duty that long and shot someone while that individual had a gun to their head. The officer, after several times asking the individual to put the gun down, shot the individual because the officer felt the individual made a threatening move. This is about experience and training that police just simply aren’t getting.

    4. Better pay. I can tell you locally here the police and deputies, while mostly good, aren’t the sharpest and go into the police force because there is some demand for the job but in many cases, is the only option left for many individuals for employment.

    5. I’m tired of all the media, especially sports media, wanting to hear what famous coaches and players have to say. When did the black community really want to know what a famous white coach has to say? Then that coach makes a canned PR statement and it’s criticized. Another coach says nothing and its criticized. Another coach is non-committal and its criticized.

    What do I want to hear from? Mayors and Police Chiefs who are telling us exactly their future plans to reduce the racism.

    • 0 avatar
      Lou_BC

      @Daniel J – You should add mandatory mental health and addictions counselling for officers, especially those working high crime/high stress areas on a routine basis.
      It isn’t unusually for officers in those situations to burnout. It is quite common for police to develop the attitude that there are only 3 classes of people; 1. Police; 2. Criminals; 3. Potential criminals.

      • 0 avatar
        Daniel J

        I completely agree. Not only mental health counselling, but also better training on how to handle those with mental illness and other forms of illness, especially autistic and aspergers.

    • 0 avatar
      brn

      While I believe it varies by jurisdiction, the rambling thoughts are reasonable. Let’s do it!

  • avatar
    Ol Shel

    ANyone who denies institutional racism in America simply doesn’t want to know about it. A mountain of evidence is available to all who are open to accepting it… but why would someone who knows everything go looking for facts that will upset their feeling, eh?

    When I, a very white white guy, was in my 20s, I drove a terrible Pinto while my good care was being built. I got pulled over near my apartment one evening while returning with some take-out. The cops said I was speeding (maybe, I dunno), but what they did next has been the biggest reason why I doubt police integrity. They said that they saw me reaching down to hide a weapon. And they’d like to search the car.

    TOTAL BULLSHIT.

    I let them, because 1. I’m white, and didn’t yet fear police, and 2. the car was a total mess, with wrappers, papers, and garbage 4″ deep on the floors. When he searched the trunk, he saw cardboard boxes. “What’s in the boxes?” Other boxes, sir. He opened one box, finding a box. He opened that, finding another, and then another. He shut the trunk without searching any more.

    Bad cops will lie, because they can get away with it, because they’re damaged people who believe that everyone is as sketchy and dangerous as they/their old man/whoever it was who traumatized them, and because they believe they’re the ‘good guy’ who can use any means necessary to find out what the suspect is hiding. Heroes.

    Black and brown people aren’t making this shit up. I can’t possibly understand and know what they have to go through, but I sure can listen and connect it with the evidence that backs up their claims.

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