Police misconduct is not just about killing black people.

With all the protests erupting across America regarding the murder of an unarmed black man, George Floyd, at the hands (and knee) of a white cop, I am reminded of an incident that illustrated to me why police can’t always be trusted, even if they don’t kill blacks at all.

Back when I was living in Arlington, Texas, I was traveling down highway 360 when I was pulled over by a cop. He approached my car and said, “Do you know why I pulled you over?”
I said, “No clue, officer. I know I wasn’t speeding. In fact, it is impossible to speed on this highway; it’s too congested.”
The cop then said, “Are you lost? Do you need help getting somewhere?”
I said, “No, I’m fine.”
The cop let me go. But I have no doubt that he did so only because of my white privilege. But I was driving a 2002 Saturn that was in such poor condition that I’m sure the cop seeing it from a distance assumed it was being driven by a poor black or hispanic man. So if instead I had been a person of color, he likely would have written me a ticket for some made up excuse and I would have had to go to court to fight it and still risk losing the fight in front of a mostly white jury. I already knew that traffic tickets are a convenient means of a city to raise extra money without raising taxes on most citizens, not merely a matter of public safety. And what better way to keep minorities down than by targeting their pocketbooks?

I have been distrustful of police ever since.

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