I have this student who comes from a city in a different part of the country. CityBoy is intelligent, articulate, well-spoken. His parents are educated and wealthy. He came to our small campus because his career goals are very specific, and we are a specialized school.
CityBoy stayed one summer to do an internship here in the region of Snowstorm City. During this two-month period, he was stopped by cops on 17 different occasions, despite the fact that he is a careful driver who obeys all the rules. Repeatedly, he has been called rude names by cops. They insult and harass him. They ask him to step out of the car. They demand he be searched for drugs or tested for alcohol. He handles this by remaining calm and not saying a word. He is careful not to have anything in his hands, not even a cell phone. He remembers how Johnny Gammage was killed.
CityBoy is black.
I have lived in this area my whole life, and I too have been stopped by cops. On every occasion, it has been because I was doing something wrong. I have been stopped four times because I did not have an up-to-date inspection sticker on my windshield, which meant that I was driving illegally, an offense in this state for which cops can give a ticket. Several times I've been stopped for having a tail light out, another ticketable offense. I am a terrible driver because I tend to daydream when I drive. One time I was stopped by a cop for going the wrong way on a one-way street. One time I made an abrupt turn without signaling and cut off the car behind me, who happened to be a cop. Another time, I made a left turn into oncoming traffic and bashed into a truck. One time a cop clocked me going 47 mph in a 20 mph zone past an elementary school. (In my defense, school was not in session.)
Number of tickets I've gotten: 0
Cops are always polite and nice to me. They use words like please and thank you. They never search me. They never ever ask me to step out of the car. I'm never afraid because I have never had any reason to be afraid of cops.
I am white.