Racial profiling does still happen, and many of you know getting pulled over while black can get you killed. Think of Philando Castile and Sandra Bland, pulled over for minor infractions that cost their lives. According to research by the Stanford Open Policing Project, black drivers are 20 percent more likely to be stopped than white drivers. The study also found that while black drivers were least likely to be carrying guns, drugs, or anything illegal, they were searched two times as often as white drivers.
There are things black drivers can do to protect themselves, first, make sure your license is up to date, and not suspended. Make sure your blinkers, taillights, and brake lights are working to minimize any unnecessary stops by the police. Also keep your tints within the legal limit. Here are some other tips to protect yourself when you feel the law isn’t on your side:
· Put on your emergency hazards, drive the speed limit and pull over in a well-lit area or public space. Do not pull over on highways or roads with no shoulder or dangerous high traffic areas.
· If it’s an unmarked car, call 911 and explain that someone is trying to pull you over and you’re not sure they’re a police officer. Ask the dispatcher to verify if the car trying to pull you over is police officer. Do not get out of your vehicle until the dispatcher can confirm that you are actually being stopped by a police officer.
· Do not flee, as that could lead to a more dangerous high-speed chase.
· Ask the officer for proof of who they are, such as name and ID badge.
· Have someone listening on your cellphone or through FaceTime or video chat.
· Narrate your motions: I am getting my license out of my glove compartment; I am looking for my insurance.
· Install a dash cam.
· Answer questions calmly and respectfully.
· Do not allow the officers to search your vehicle, even if you believe nothing dangerous or illegal is in your car. Understand that if a person leaves something illegal in your car without you knowing, you are still responsible. Also, if an officer smells an illegal substance like marijuana, they do have probable cause to search your vehicle.
· Do not consent to a breathalyzer test. Please understand that this will only be used to build a case against you.