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Stop Racial Profiling Now
DWB or WWB is dangerous
Racial Profiling must stop
A few weeks ago, I was coming home from dinner, drinks and dancing with a friend. We visited Old Town Temecula, CA. We had a lovely evening, ate something extra and we decided to leave. It was almost 1:00 am and as I walked my friend to her car, I noticed the California Highway Patrol car a block away. Two officers sat in the car. As I walked back to my car, I saw the officers watching me. I instinctively knew that I would be stopped. Still, I got into my car and left.
Just as I drove out of the Old Town area, the CHP pulled me over. I was sure I was going to get a ticket because I had recently moved and misplaced both my registration and my insurance card. However, the officer never asked me for either. The first question out of his mouth was, “Do you have any warrants and have ever been arrested.” The answer, of course, was no. At this point he asked had I been drinking and I told him yes, but I had stopped drinking at 10:00 pm.
I was then asked to exit my vehicle and given a sobriety test. The officer never ran my driver’s license, he never asked me for my registration or insurance. I was given a field sobriety test and told to blow into a Breathalyzer. I passed both. He then asked what my profession was and when I told him I was a high school teacher he sounded amazed. It was what happened next that told me that this was not an ordinary stop. He told me that I was very close to going to jail and that I needed to go to Denny’s and get something to eat. He then told me that he stopped me for going 40 mph in a 25 mph zone and running through a stop sign. Both of these are citable offenses.
Most people would chalk this up to just another traffic stop, but I call it racial profiling. These officers, one white and one Hispanic, followed me through Old Town. They stopped me in an area just off the freeway and outside of Old Town Temecula where they have jurisdiction. They did not follow standard operating procedure because they never asked me for insurance or registration for what they called a traffic stop. The intent was to arrest me, but they could not.
Racial profiling by police officers is the norm in many cities. The case of Trayvon Martin, in Sanford, Florida, illustrates the dangers of profiling and lax gun laws. Trayvon Martin was murdered because he looked like a suspect. George Zimmerman, a wannabe police officer who went around his neighborhood telling his neighbors to watch out for young black males entering his housing complex, shot him. Zimmerman, who broke every rule of the Neighborhood Watch community—following a suspect, carrying a concealed weapon, and confronting a potential suspect--shot him in cold blood. Zimmerman, who claimed self-defense, but whose claim an unknown witness, Trayvon’s girlfriend who was on the phone with him at the time, undercut Zimmerman’s self-defense proclamation, murdered someone’s son. Zimmerman is free because in Florida, if you feel threatened by someone you have the right to stand your ground. Zimmerman, who was heard to use an alleged racial slur right before confronted Martin, ended all the hopes and dreams this family had for their son.
I am Trayvon Martin and this happens all too often, not the murder, but the harassment of black males. I have been writing about it for years. Read this article in the Los Angeles Times and this one from my blog. It even happened to Dr. Condoleeza Rice and we were mentioned in the same Los Angeles Times story. Racial profiling leaves and indelible mark on one’s soul and causes you to think about your surroundings in a way that is unheard of for most other Americans. The death of Trayvon Martin should cause us all to pause and consider how dangerous it is for a man with a gun to consider you dangerous just because of the color of your skin and the fact that you are walking down the stree.
Stand with Trayvon’s family to stop racial profiling and gun laws that make it an open season on young black males.