Last week, I was pulled over by a Cop. Yes, siren, lights and all!
The strange thing is, prior to being pulled over, my friend observed that the Police Cruiser passed us at the Intersection where we were ‘yielded’, waiting to safely join the flow of traffic, and seemed to patiently wait for us.
He even made the comment, “I hope the Policeman is not waiting for us”.
When it was safe, we pulled into the flow of traffic, passed the cop, only to be pulled over shortly.
I was surprised at first because to the best of my knowledge, no laws had been violated. Then I felt irritated. By the end of the encounter I was enraged. I felt a bit violated. I confess I’m still shaking off this feeling. It has for some reason landed me in some kind of philosophical quandary.
You see, there were three people (all males) of African descent in the vehicle. It was a fairly late-model, ‘decent’ and ‘attractive’ black sedan. And we were not in any bizarre Halloween customs.
Here is what ensued after the officer walked to our vehicle.
He asked for the Driver’s license and IDs of EVERYONE in the vehicle. I was taken aback and wanted to ask why but decided to comply for the time being.
Upon receiving all the IDs, he went to his Cruiser, checked them I guess, and returned.
Here are the reasons he gave for pulling us over.
One, our vehicle was pulled up a bit too much into oncoming traffic.
Two, we seemed to be fighting in the vehicle. Now this reason had me really mixed up. Puzzled is a mild description.
Three, one of the Brake lights of the vehicle was out.
He then let us go “with a warning this time”.
As we drove off, a spirited discussion ensued about what just happened. This did not help calm my vividly animated thinking mind.
What pushed me over was my discovery that all the Brake lights were working just perfectly!
The question I’m now trying to answer is, ‘why the freaking . . . . . heck did he pull me over?’
This experience left a bad aftertaste in my mouth, and a bitter question that seems to linger on and on. . . .
Am I guilty of Driving While ‘Black’?
I believe there are good upstanding Law Enforcement Personnel out there, but this caricature of a cop has really heightened my sensibilities about overzealous and narrow-minded people who might be wearing uniforms they don’t deserve to wear.
Am I reading too much into this experience? Have you ever experienced anything like this before? Is this a form of injustice by ‘The Authorities’?