A Different Kind of Police Profiling.

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All we ever hear about is “racial profiling” of usually the Black community.  Let me tell you about a “different kind of profiling” the police do.

When one of my sons started college at the local J.C., he purchased his first car–his dream car.  All our “first cars” are our dream cars.  Well, his dream turned out to be a nightmare.  It was a used navy blue Honda Prelude with low ground clearance, special tailpipes, and a custom stereo–what kids called back then “rice rockets.”

Well, no sooner did he start driving this car did the police start harassing him.  He’d get pulled over and ticketed for not displaying a front license plate.  But since there was no place to put a license plate, he just paid the ticket. Then he got pulled over for tinted windows that came with the car, so you see they were harassing him. Personally, I think they thought he was in an Asian gang as they couldn’t see his race, so they’d pull him over to find they just pulled over an Opie Taylor doppelganger.  So they were targeting Asians.

Then one night in his college town, the local police pulled him over for not having his current tag on the back plate.  (He forgot to mail in his registration.) First time leaving home, so I cut him a break.  Did they give the freshman redhead a warning and send him on his merry way?  No way. They asked him to step out of the car. You never want to hear those five words. If you do, beware. You have rights. He just didn’t know what they were.

They proceeded then to search his car for drugs, weapons, alcohol (who knows what?) which they found none. Thank the Lord! They wanted something more to get him on rather than just a missing current tag. I’d call that an illegal search, but what do I know?  Then they impounded (towed) his car to an impound yard and left him stranded on the street at 10:30 at night alone.  They told him he couldn’t “legally” drive his car home without a current back sticker.  To that I say, I think they were being excessively cruel. Maybe not excessive force but definitely excessive cruelty. 

The next morning I got the call no parent wants, “Mom, can you help me get my vehicle out of impound?”

After hearing his incredible story, I drove north to the police station, loaded for bear all the way.  I asked to see the policeman who impounded my son’s car and I read him some sort of riot act, mainly for leaving my son on the street.  But I was fuming. The policeman was Hispanic (reverse discrimination?). I sure hope not.  Then I was sent to the yard to pay over $400 to get his car back. What a needless expense at a time when we had two in college. But that wasn’t the end of it.

Several weeks later, he received yet another ticket in our hometown for his missing front license plate AGAIN– not for speeding, not drunk driving, not reckless driving–a license plate. Not the normal kind of tickets boys his age were getting. My current car has no front plate. I’ve owned it for sixteen years without one incident like this, so it was clear to me that my son was being targeted for the make and model of his car. I didn’t know makes and models were discriminated against.  Who knew?

I had had enough.  I was at my wits end.  I was getting tired of this crap the police were pulling. I flew into our local police station (not the same city as impounded incident) with ticket in hand and confronted the first cop I saw.  I said, “My son thought his car was going to be a “chick magnet” and all it has been is a cop magnet!”  After examining the ticket, he did look embarrassed like they had been caught giving out frivolous tickets. Needless to say, he dismissed the ticket and promised not to pull him over again for front license plate.

Then my son had some sort of a fender bender in the rain, and we decided some cars are just bad luck.  He sold his dream car and found his dream girl, ironically, an Asian girl.

He’s been ticket free ever since–just getting his car vandalized by the homeless in SF.

So you see, it’s not just Blacks the police profile.  They have other profiling like the make and models of some vehicles and Asian gang members.  So I can sympathize with the Blacks and Asians if they are getting pulled over for needless reasons.  It’s certainly maddening, but may be comforting to know that the police have other targets rather than just Blacks.

This story is not meant to diminish what the Blacks feel when they leave the house, just to say I can imagine how angered they must get as I sure got mad.  But I don’t condone all the violence our country is going through as revenge for some bad cops.  Most of them are good. Good tip:  If you’re worried about police brutality, don’t break any laws. Otherwise, no telling.

These senseless stops are just their way of building revenue like speed traps, but no one wants to be a victim of one of these stops.  It makes you, or at least your car, feel persecuted. And no one, or vehicle, wants to feel persecuted.