It Happens All the Time

My office manager’s husband was once more pulled over and stopped without reason. “Uh, OK, I’m going to give you a ticket for tinted windows. Mind if I search your car while I’m at it?” I give him credit for remaining calm in these situations.

This is normal. This happens all the time. I see it every day in my job, representing people who are pulled over for Driving While Black.

This particular man is a dark-skinned latino who owns and manages properties in New York city.  He has no criminal record, and none of these stop and searches has ever produced anything illegal.  The police never have any probable cause to search his vehicle, but he agrees to do it anyway because if he said no, they’d hold him and search it anyway (especially since the Courts have now held that they no longer have to get a warrant to do so).

And this is “normal” for him.la-na-tt-michael-brown-imperfect-20141203-001

I get plenty of cases where the police search and find some marijuana or something.  I don’t get the ones where they don’t find anything, because then there is no case.  I often wonder how many searches like this happen — are arrests made in 50% of the cases?  Does that mean 50% of the time, people are being stopped and searched for no reason and we just don’t hear about it because nothing major is filed?

That’s why it is so frustrating to read comments from white people who think that the anger dark-skinned people have right now is unjustified.

 

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