NERVOUS ABOUT TRAFFIC STOPS? I AM. YOU SHOULD BE, TOO | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


NERVOUS ABOUT TRAFFIC STOPS? I AM. YOU SHOULD BE, TOO

You’re driving along and you see a pair of flashing blue lights in your rearview mirror. Whether or not you’ve done anything wrong, you get a sinking feeling in your stomach.

Trying to predict the outcome of any encounter with the police is a bit like playing Russian roulette: most of the time you will emerge relatively unscathed, although decidedly poorer and less secure about your rights, but there’s always the chance that an encounter will turn deadly.

For instance, it was just a year ago, in the early morning hours of Dec. 1, 2016, when Gregory Tucker, a young African-American man, was pulled over by Louisiana police for a broken taillight.

What should have been a routine traffic stop became yet another example of police brutality in America.

According to the lawsuit that was filed in federal court by The Rutherford Institute, Tucker was thrown to the ground by police, beaten, arrested and hospitalized for severe injuries to his face and arm, allegedly in retaliation for “resisting arrest” by driving to a safe, well-lit area before submitting to a traffic stop for a broken tail light.

Mind you, this young man complied with police. He just didn’t do it fast enough to suit their purposes.

If this young man is “guilty” of anything, he’s guilty of ticking off the cops by being cautious, concerned for his safety, and all too aware of the dangers faced by young black men during encounters with the police.

Frankly, you don’t even have to be young or black or a man to fear for your life during an encounter with the police.

Just consider the growing numbers of unarmed people are who being shot and killed just for standing a certain way, or moving a certain way, or holding something—anything—that police could misinterpret to be a gun, or igniting some trigger-centric fear in a police officer’s mind that has nothing to do with an actual threat to their safety.

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