Comments are closed.
Commenting on this item is available only to members of the site. You can sign in here or create an account here.
Radar and LIDAR are only accurate to plus or minus ten percent of the indicated display, so five miles an hour over is within the error range of the instrument. Ask to see the last calibration certificate for the instrument the officer used to determine your speed. If the posted limit was more than 55 mph, you most assuredly were stopped on a DWB. That you and your brothers are subjected to the danger of a cop with a loaded weapon because of a trumped up charge makes me sick. This has to stop. Perhaps a judge humiliating an officer in court might help.
It isnt fair that you were singled out, but I'm happy you and your family were not harmed. No one should feel terror during a routine traffic stop.
I have brought several complaints against apartment neighbors for nuisances and hazards including:
-Putting garbage on their back patios with sickening smells coming into my apartment
-Dogs barking loudly and incessantly as late as 2am in the morning
-Fumes that suggest meth use coming into my apartment
-Heavy laundry and dry cleaning chemical use, and heavy carpet cleaning smells (suggesting dumping into the apartment drains)
In all cases, the police rebuffed my attempts to lodge a complain saying they "had no power". In all cases the landlords themselves were skittish about making charges because of not wanting to harass tenants (especially in this, a "sanctuary" city). In one case, because English was not a second language, they had to make doubly sure the offending party even understood what was being asked! In all cases I had to yell, scream, research, and threaten to bring litigation to changes made and only after weeks of inconvenience.
And I didn't even mention all the Internet stalking and cyberbullying to which I've been privileged over the past 10 years.
I still don't know how to report it and to whom!
Well, almost any white driver.
FWIW, I got a speeding ticket on I5 near Chehalis on a late-night return from Portland and the officer wrote the ticket for less than he clocked me.
1. The margin of error for RADAR and LIDAR is 1-2 MPH, not 5 MPH like @4 is suggesting. See here (https://fortress.wa.gov/wsp/smdsearch/Di…) - that's the standard cover letter for the speed certs.
2. It is EXTREMELY common for troopers to write you up for less than they actually clocked you at. Troopers generally (not always, but generally) ignore anything less than 10 MPH over. I dealt with thousands of tickets while in that field, and I think I could count on one hand the number of freeway tickets that were for anything less than that (the game changes in school zones, obviously). If you request the report in discovery (see IRLJ 3.1(b) here http://www.courts.wa.gov/court_rules/?fa…), you can see what he actually clocked you at. I would bet a lot of money you were going faster than 65.
3. It is EXTREMELY hard for troopers to see skin color when they're stationary and you're traveling at highway speed, and the much more likely scenario is that your car happened to be the one his RADAR locked in on. I get the point in your last two paragraphs, that this is about broader systemic issues in light of the Bland case and countless others, but going automatically to DWB, based on nothing other than the fact that you got pulled over and other cars didn't, seems like an unwarranted jump.
Keep voting for more government.
Keep getting more government.
Then complain about the effect.
A black woman, a gay man, a MTF transsexual, a Rabbi, a Priest, an undocumented Latin American immigrant, a white suburban executive, a Mullah, and a white supremacist with a confederate flag decal are all exceeding the speed limit and a cop has to pull over at least one to enforce the law and, in turn, serve as a warning to other speeders. Whom of these should NOT receive a ticket and just a warning?
Now let's see Mudede write about his experiences being pulled over for DWB and compare and contrast his pretentious and impenetrable writing with your thoughtful and articulate prose.
@25: Excuse me, it's conservatives that simultaneously complain about high taxes and whine that social services (at least, the social services THEY like) are underfunded. Nobody here is arguing that speed limits shouldn't exist, or shouldn't be enforced; rather, it is the 14th Amendment-violating unequal application of laws that is being contested. If you're too stupid to understand that, well, that's a dayum shame.
That makes no sense on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin.
Assuming this cop was double checking people's skin color while he was aiming his radar gun, they got picked on for a traffic ticket for their skin color and that sucks, but pleeeeease with acting like this was a legitimately fearful situation. They were in a bunch of bullshit but you were not in danger. They may be black but they're still black in metropolitan western Washington. Traffic cops don't flinch and shoot brothers in broad daylight. SPD is racist but give them some credit, we don't live in fucking Alabama or something.
Otherwise, I did want to say congratulations on your expanding family. I can't think of people I want to see hang out more than your pre-existing family and your new sister-in-law.
1) (Before anyone gets all pissy at me, read #2) If anyone should be safe from spurious traffic stops, it should be me, yet I've been pulled over in similar circumstances. It didn't seem fair at the time to be pulled over for doing what everyone else was doing, but I didn't have an bias explanation to hang that suspicion on, so I had to let it go as one of those things. Considering how hard it is to see drivers through the windshields of oncoming cars, considering that you were speeding, considering that the cop may not be biased, perhaps you should consider the idea that the stop was random and/or justified. You'd probably sleep better.
2) Once pulled over, my sympathies completely change to your side. As a white dude, I can talk to a cop with very little fear for my life. Non white people don't have that luxury. You have a completely legitimate and rational fear that even if you behave "perfectly", if everything doesn't go perfectly during a stop, you might end up dead. It's outrageous and it's unfair. Black people shouldn't be scared of law enforcement, and even worse, black people shouldn't be right to be scared. We've got to reform how policing works in this country, particularly our habit in Seattle and beyond of hiring to our police forces the lowest common denominator, barely functional, power drunk, country boy type. We need to hire a police force that looks more like our city politically, culturally, and racially. And we need to fire cops who misbehave on the first infraction. Cops need to be head to a higher standard.
If it was me or you driving with the flow surrounded by a bunch of other vehicles also traveling at the same rate of speed - and WE were singled out for a stop, we'd be grumbling and muttering "bullshit" under our breath, not fearing for our very lives. Because, you know, how often do you hear about White people being pulled from their cars, beaten, tazed, thrown in jail or shot in similar circumstances?
The point isn't that the LEO didn't have a reason for the stop, it's a Black person's quite reasonable apprehension at what might happen AFTER the stop that's the point of this story. Her passenger DID have a legitimate fear of how the interaction might play out, because he's either seen, heard, or perhaps even personally experienced it, something you or I will almost never have to worry about. It doesn't make any difference if he's in Seattle instead of Prairie View or New York or Beavercreek or wherever; he's Black, the cop is White, and White cops are killing Black people all over the fucking country these days - often, as we are seeing on an almost daily basis, for no reason whatsoever, and frequently for far less reason than the White people who present far greater danger yet who somehow manage to come through completely unscathed.
Seriously, how many examples of the difference between how White people are treated versus how Black people are treated in these situations do you need to see before it starts to sink in?
Seems to me the immediate solution to keep black people alive in cars is to institute a white chauffeur program. I'd like to offer my services on Thursdays and Sundays.
So, the notion that "this happens all the time, therefore this one example must be made up" doesn't strike you as just a tad, well, dissonant, cognitively-speaking?
Hm, Yogi Berra is still alive, so reincarnation is clearly out of the question...
I was also with some black friends once, many years ago - not the driver, but one of the passengers - this wasn't in WA state - and we were stopped "driving while black" and interrogated by this backwards-type cop (we weren't down south, but he was a little like the stereotypical southern white cop) and in a very isolated rural area at night. It was scary and clear that he was motivated by racism; he really "put the grill" on the driver, and it was just awful. And I was "vibed" like I was some kind of "immoral woman" because I was "running around with blacks" and it was in the middle of the night (we were all very respectable too - it's just what was going on in this individual's disturbed mind - very obvious). To make a long story short ... we hadn't been doing anything wrong vehicle-wise .. and there was ultimately no ticket .. and we were all hyper-vigilant about our behavior throughout ... but we were basically told to get out of the area. And another time, traveling actually in Europe with friends - not doing anything wrong - and we were pulled into the police station because one friend was a young black man. So we were interrogated by these racist European policemen for "traveling while black" or "traveled while in a mixed group" in Europe.
A female friend - not African American - was stopped in New Jersey for driving while female and by herself. She wasn't speeding and the cop told her he wanted a sexual favor or he'd give her a ticket. She told him to forget it and instinctively just hit the gas - "burned the rubber," as they say, and tore off. He didn't pursue her vehicle further, TG.
This was powerful. Ijeoma, thank you for sharing your experience. I am so sorry and furious that people of color have been subjected to this for so long and the rest of us are only now, thanks to vid cams and phone cams, beginning to get it. How awful to feel this way at a traffic stop.
And people, even if the cop didn't know they were black when he stopped them, how can you not be outraged that a subset of our population has good reason to feel this way at the most basic interaction with police?
News flash for you COMTE, the african american community needs not superficial validations from you as were are are all ONE society, black and white, brown, and every other adjective that makes up our wonderful human world. The african american community learned that lesson long ago, so should you.
White people have to go at least 10 MPH over the speed limit to get a ticket.
Maybe the officer suspected an underage girl was being kidnapped by two "pimps" for illicit purposes.
By asking for her license he could confirm her age.
So far I have not received a ticket. That said, getting a ticket for doing 5 miles over the speed limit, when the speed is 60 is ridiculous. I believe Ijeoma was pulled over for DWB.
I also applaud the article for describing what goes through the mind of a person of color when being pulled over by the police.
I have received one speeding ticket ever and the circumstances were interesting. I too was in the middle of a pack of cars on I90 and when the speed limit changed from 70 to 65, a cop pulled out behind us and 6 or 7 cars pulled over to the side. He then cruised slowly along the shoulder looking into each car. My passengers and I were 3 scruffy looking college guys and the cop very deliberately chose us to pull in behind us. He waved all the other cars back onto the road and then proceeded to give us a pretty thorough interrogation and eventually a speeding ticket. I've always assumed he chose us as a combination of appearing the most likely to have something else going on besides speeding, but also because we were young and in a beater of a car so we probably had less recourse to defend ourselves against any over-policing on his part. I have always been struck by a couple things: 1. I am certain if there had been anyone of color in any of the other cars, we would have been sent on our way with the other drivers. 2. Even though we felt like we were being singled out, we were never afraid. I was irritated at the cop, but not once did I even consider the possibility that this encounter would harm me in any way. I was not conscious of it at the time, but the shield of me and my friends whiteness made us feel very safe and secure.
So, now you've been appointed Official Spokesperson for All Black People In The United States, duly granted the authority to tell everyone else what they think? Was there an election or something I missed? A memo perhaps? I'm sure there would have been some sort of announcement from the NAACP or The SPLC, or at least the Black Panthers, surely.
I mean, seriously, talk about condescension: you, a conservative White male telling others what Black Americans want or don't want. Simply hilarious!
And being insulted when you post incoherent, confrontational, or off-topic comments throughout the internet doesn't really amount to cyber-bullying, however unhelpful such insults are.
Ijeoma isn't a dishonest writer, she's a cheap shilly writer. She writes about her strong feelings in not-that-strong situations. It's not journalism, it's paid blogging.
Not-that-strong to you and I perhaps, but given the overall theme about which she's writing, what makes you think her "strong" feelings AREN'T justified? Oh, wait. Let me guess. You're White, aren't you? Nevermind.
And SLOG is a...come on, say it with me...
Why should I assume you're NOT? Everything you post sounds like the rantings of an angry, conservative, middle-aged white guy. Besides, if you WERE Black, I'm sure we would have heard about it a long time ago, because how could you not resist throwing that in everyone's face here?
But, if you want to prove me wrong, all you have to do is post a verifiable picture of yourself.
You could have lived in a rich neighborhood and had your white limo driver drive instead, and only have white brothers.
What you reactionaries call "deteriorating" the rest of us call "progress". But hey, keep up with the Hygroton or Aldactone, or whatever the cheap generic equivalents are - you might just live long enough to see things change for the better.
And by that response, I take it I was correct in that you are NOT in fact Black. Just pointing it out for the record - and for future reference, of course.
Duh. It's been how hot & sunny around here the past couple of months? I've got a good "trucker's tan" going on my left forearm too from resting it on my window ledge while I drive, and I'm about as White as White can be. Imagine how dark it might get if you were to spend a large part of your day parked along the side of a busy freeway?
Well SOME people are aware of it more, but this is nothing new. The Black Panther Party for Self-Defense was established in 1966 to respond to police brutality and almost all of the "race riots" of the late 60s were in response to episodes of police brutality (today is the 68th anniversary of the start of the Detroit riot). Cities fucking burned.
And for twenty years now academics, epidemiologists, drug policy reformers, and black people having been calling out the New Jim Crow: the unbelievable and unexplainable (to some) racial disparity in drug arrests.
So, no, things have always sucked. What is new, in case you haven't been paying attention, is that everybody and their sister has a video camera on them. And large numbers of police cars have dash cams. And, increasingly, cops wear body cams. And, suddenly, everybody's noses are being rubbed in the steaming pile of shit that is policing of black America. Denying the undeniable is no longer viable.
And with the exception of a relatively few, people are fucking disgusted. And now that WHITE people are disgusted, maybe we'll finally get some change.
In my other ticket story, where it was also highly unfair .. more like hippie persecution .. it was in the southwest, in that situation, I was driving in this desert, going about 60, and this town was all of a sudden "there" with an instant speed limit sign of 35 or something like that. So I hit the brakes and went down to 40 very rapidly, then the speed limit, but I couldn't decrease fast enough, and I was about 5 mph over the speed limit for a few hundred feet past this instant speed limit sign. Then, we're continuing through the town, which is completely empty of inhabitants and other vehicles - it's almost like a ghost town -- there were no other cars and no people at all. Then, almost on the way out, this cop comes out almost nowhere, and pulls us over. And you could see that this cop lived for this,every day, of what must have been his boring life out in this tiny southwestern town in the middle of nowhere. So, he goes on this spiel about "you came into this town too fast and were driving over the speed limit" - and this is already something that happened about 15 minutes ago ..? Then, he writes me a ticket for going about 5 mph over the speed limit and it's over a hundred bucks. And, he wants us to pay up immediately. I objected, in this situation, and tried to debate him, and he was like, having the time of his life dong this .. "well,, ha-ha, if you don't like it, you can certainly wait around here another 8 hours in the 100 plus heat in the middle of nowhere" (we were on the road and it was first thing in the morning) .. of course he knew we weren't going to sit around for another 8 hours to go to what had to be this rinky dink kangaroo court, probably with a judge just like him, and in the hopes of fighting their stupid ticket - or we'd have to write him a check right then and there since we were from out of state. Anyway, while there was this question about him singling us out as unconventional types, he also probably did this to many drivers all the time, hanging around their rinky dink surprise speed limit sign in the middle of the desert, then trailing the motorists, then jumping them, near the town limit on the other side for their ticket money. But this cop didn't even hide what he was doing. He was basically the equivalent of highwayman hold-up. And I'm an excellent driver, always have been. So, for those of you who think police are all angels, you're living very sheltered lives on that.
Only a White person would make such naive a statement. Any person of Color can tell you that practically every waking moment of their lives is a "racial thing", mainly because so many White people tend to turn just about any interaction they have with a non-White person INTO a racial thing, even when we're not consciously aware of it. Just thinking to yourself "how can I NOT make this a racial thing" turns the situation into a racial thing by virtue of having to even self-monitor your own words or behavior when around non-White people. It's something we do all the time, and I'm pretty sure most people of Color can tell when we're doing it, even if we think we're doing it for their benefit.
The problem is that cops - even good ones - push the envelope all the time when it comes to abusing a citizen's Constitutional rights, and the last thing they want is someone who KNOWS their rights and has the temerity to say so, because that's an obvious challenge to what they view as their Absolute Authority To Do Whatever The Fuck They Want. Time and again, courts have thrown out citations and convictions because a cop crossed the line, and police departments have clear guidelines and policies on these matters; which all too often get thrown completely out-the-window as soon as said cop is back on the beat. That is simply intolerable.
I certainly get your point about "that's what court is for" and I agree that's an appropriate venue for dealing with cops who can't or won't follow the law and respect the rights of the citizens who pay their salaries. But in this day-and-age, where cops are under almost constant surveillance, either by their own devices or by the public's, this flagrant, egregious abuse of authority cannot be, should not be, and will not be passively accepted any more. Law Enforcement's first and foremost priority is "to protect and serve"; half the departments in the U.S. have that as their expressed motto. Any cop who cannot take those words - and their implicit meaning - to heart, should simply not be wearing the badge and uniform, and it is our duty to call them out whenever, wherever they transgress. They've been getting away with it for too long, and it has to stop. But, the only way it WILL stop is if we continue to challenge their "absolute authority" when they are clearly - and often knowingly - in the wrong, and make them suffer the consequences.
It's easy for White people to take that kind of "I'll be cool and let the judge sort it out later" attitude, but given the penchant for cops to KILL Black people well before they ever get that opportunity, regardless of how much they may try to "shrink the threat footprint" at the time, it doesn't seem like they have all that much more to lose (if the odds are they're going to lose their life anyway) by directly challenging authority, putting it on video, and getting it into the hands of someone who can perhaps do something with it in the (unfortunately, rather likely) event the situation goes completely south and they don't survive the encounter.
PS dumb tickets happen to everyone, even the intelligent. Get the fuck over it.
Guess I better post a racist, hate mongering piece on a second-rate newspaper site. Maybe it will get picked up by KOMO, and I, too, will have a few seconds of face time on local television.
Or, I could make better use of my time, and not be a hate-mongering racist.
In other words, you're doing exactly what bad cops do.
You did make me chuckle heartedly though, and for that I am grateful as it's been quite a day. To read a clowns whining ended it perfectly.
The author and I are very similar in most regards. High level of education, fairly comfortable financially, female and adult. But she is black and I am white.
I drive the same freeways she does and habitually do so 5 to 10 miles over the posted speed limit. For the sake of argument let's chalk up the fact that I have only ever been pulled over once in my life to luck. That one time I was doing 82 in a 60 mile an hour zone, so not only speeding but worthy of a citation for reckless driving as well. So a pretty serious stop.
Was I frightened? Apprehensive? Worried that I would get anything more than the tickets I deserved?
It never even occurred to me that I would need to do any of the things the author described. Because, although the officer couldn't tell by looking at me any of the things I have in common with the author they could see the one thing we don't. I am a white lady and she is a black lady. Regardless of whether or not the officers could see that when they lit us up (and in my case, due to tinted windows they most certainly could not) this fact was clear by the time we were pulled over.
I not only drove off that day with just a speeding ticket instead of the much more serious citation for reckless driving I deserved, the officer apologized for pulling me over. He said, and I quote, " if you'd been doing 10 over I'd have let it go, but 82 in a 60 zone, I kind of had to pull you over."
So let's review. Two very similar ladies, one black, one white. One pulled over, treated like threat for going 5 miles over the speed limit, one driving recklessly in a car with darkly tinted windows, gets a reduced ticket and an apology for the inconvenience.
And this is the point:
Due to the color of our skin these are the interactions we expected. That she would automatically be treated as potential criminal or threat and that I would not.
I am wondering what else besides "white" the writer of this statement is. That writer has already identified themselves in classist terms as well (i.e. her financial status), and, I'm wondering about ethnicity in addition to "whiteness." Are we talking blonde with a driver's license that has a last name the police officer might recognize?
At any rate, I have no problem with the message of this article. The driver "wonders," that's all.
But other people do have issues on the road. No doubt, some don't, but those who feel so entitled, and expect so much with such ease from police officers clearly do not speak for so many others, including the 50 percent of Americans currently low income and in poverty.
By the way, i read this writer's article, more recently, on the NAACP employee targeted in Spokane, and, I was appalled by her nasty, mean-spirited, substance-less attack on this woman who is also the mother of two African American sons.
Apparently, she needs to make up for being a member of the black middle class by finding the nearest possible victim to attack. In this case, a person who was cruelly targeted by one of the most powerful and corrupt media moguls in the USA, owning Spokane, lock stock and barrel. How convenient to have you, writer, as an attack dog in their Washington State ranks. Are you planning to try for a job at one of their Chicago-owned newspapers?
Frankly, I don't know how anyone in the United States can claim that they only go 60 in a 60 zone. Other cars on the roadways simply do not permit it. People are literally forced to drive over the speed limit. Sure, you may otherwise conform to speed limits, but it's just not possible under today's road conditions.
Then, everyone is driving over the speed limit, "flow of traffic," a cop car appears, and everyone slows down like one big mind meld.
But, the other day in Seattle, I was amazed because I was driving within the speed limit and this other car behind me was riding up on my rear bumper trying to force me to go faster. There was a cop car coming towards us in the other lane, and this driver didn't even care that the cop was right there.
I have never seen that before, and I was thinking about this board discussion, and decided that this could only happen in Seattle, and only a very white-identified driver would be arrogant enough to do this. Or someone who's just very spaced out.
Interesting group creative writing exercise, otherwise. I read everyone's contribution, myself. Clearly others didn't.
Red head and not known to the officer who pulled me over.... Do you think I'm someone famous or something? Weirdo.
And I brought up financial status, or class if you will, as a data point I share with the author, because in all things, excluding race, we are very similar demographically.
@97: Good for you lamb chop. Do you want a cookie?