I Was Profiled
For the first time in my life, I was racially profiled by police.
Living in Wall township, New Jersey, you see lots of things. One thing that I see is a strong police presence. Despite the fact that crime happens maybe once or twice a month, police activity is rampant in this small town.
I was walking on my normal route from Shoprite to my house which is literally down the highway. I had been walking this way from Shoprite for months.
Eventually I had passed a police officer, and he was parked, seemingly minding his own business just like I was. He pulled up behind me and although I noticed the lights I paid no attention because I figured he was doing something other than trying to pull me over.
I was wrong.
The officer began to flash his red and blue lights. I turned around to see what the issue was, that’s when the officer greeted me. He asked how I was, where I was headed, where I was coming from etc.
I eventually asked him to tell me why he was pulling me over when I wasn’t driving and I was just minding my business.
He replies, “it’s very dark out here…you’re wearing all black and it may be hard for cars to see you…you might get hit.” Absolute bullshit because of the next thing he said: “do you have ID?”
Do I have ID? Maybe. Maybe not. To me, what difference could it make? But I knew what he was up to. I told him yes. Of course he asked for it. He proceeded back to his vehicle while I waited.
After a few moments had passed, a second cop arrived to the scene and began to spoke to me about how my night was going etc. I was clearly annoyed and just wanted to leave.
The original cop finally came back over. “Okay, you’re good to go.” I asked him why I was stopped in the first place, he gave a bullshit answer…pretty much any answer that isn’t “because you’re black” was going to be considered bullshit.
I carried on with my night. But I was weary. I just survived something that could’ve went really bad and that happens to thousands of people of color ALL of the time. This was a strange but eye opening experience; I knew that this stuff happens but it all changes when it happens to you.