Princeton University professor Imani Perry suggests that cops may have harbored a racial motive in a recent routine traffic stop, “an encounter that she said left her humiliated and was emblematic of officers’ mistreatment of African-Americans,” according to the New York Times.
Cops subsequently released the dashcam footage of the incident that occurred on February 6, but so far not any video of what occurred inside the police station.
Dr. Perry was initially pulled over by Princeton cops for driving 67 mph in a 45 mph zone.
After checking the law enforcement data base, which is standard operating procedure, the very polite male officer (who was joined by a female counterpart) discovered that Perry had an outstanding warrant for unpaid traffic tickets, plus other complications.
Because of the warrant, Perry was handcuffed (also standard operating procedure) and taken to the station.
— BET (@BET) February 12, 2016
Perry’s Facebook essay raised the implication of racial bias.
“..What [critics] fail to understand is that I did not purport to be without fault. Now, make no mistake, I do not believe I did anything wrong. But even if I did, my position holds. The police treated me inappropriately and disproportionately. The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter…”
She also questioned why the male officer patted her down and later allegedly handcuffed her to a table.
“…If it is not the case that this is the general practice, then I hope everyone reading will consider the possibility that the way I was treated had something to do with my race, and that we have a serious problem with policing in this society particularly with respect to Black people….”
— NBC BLK (@NBCBLK) February 9, 2016
Princeton Planet, which obtained the footage via a public records freedom of information request, summarized what happened at the outset of the stop.
“The video shows the officer approaching the vehicle and informing Perry that she was speeding. (She is later issued a ticket.) [He] asks for Perry’s insurance card and registration. She is unable to produce the registration card. The officer returns to the patrol vehicle for several minutes, contacts police dispatch, and discovers that Perry has an outstanding court warrant for parking tickets and a suspended driver’s license.”
The cop can be heard telling the professor if she pays the $130 fine, she’ll be good to go, and that they will give her a ride to the Princeton campus afterward. The officer also informs her that she can make as many phone calls or texts as she wants once they arrive at the station.
Despite the tone of Perry’s Facebook post, “video of Perry’s arrest shows two of the nicest-appearing police officers you’d ever hope to meet straining to be diplomatic and generally participating in what may be the most cordial police interaction ever,” The Daily Caller claimed.
Watch the video of the Imani Perry traffic stop and judge for yourself.
Although the president of Princeton University expressed concern about the incident to town officials, a prosecutor asserted that the cops should be “commended, not criticized” in the way that they conducted the stop and arrest, NJ.com reported.
Perry cancelled a scheduled meeting on Friday with the Mercer County prosecutor’s office, which plans on closing the file unless the professor produces evidence of police bias.
The chief of the Princeton Police Department also confirmed that the officers were following policy mandated by law when they pulled over Imani Perry but added that some changes in the standard protocol for such arrests may be appropriate.
[image via YouTube]