Racial Profiling in America

You’ve heard the adage: “Video or it didn’t happen.” Even though there’s a video below, that’s never been more true for me than today.

I was the passenger in a vehicle and we were heading back to the office after a meeting. At a fairly busy intersection in Lansing, a lady in the car next to me got out and started walking towards a white car that was 2 vehicles ahead. The light changed and the lady rushed back to her car. I figured maybe she knew the vehicle up ahead and was trying to tell them something…presumably important since it was one of the dumbest places to get out of a parked car.

At the next red light – an even busier intersection – she bolted from her car and started pounding on the white car’s passenger side windows (which were fully rolled up). At this point, it was fairly easy to figure out she wasn’t just trying to communicate something important. When the light turned green, she gave one last whack (and subsequently hurt her hand). While returning to her parked car, she started absolutely going off at everybody honking. It was BIZARRE.

I thought to myself — damn, that was crazy…the white car must have done something pretty bad to draw such a reaction. But, I continued chatting with my boss about the aforementioned meeting. We were behind both cars as they pulled into a grocery store parking lot a few miles down the road – where my vehicle was parked – and we noticed the lady continuing to AGGRESSIVELY follow the white car in a relatively crowded parking for several minutes. When the cars finally came to a stop, I decided to pull out my phone.

Why was she following/harassing the driver of the white car? Because she thought his music was too loud. I’m not kidding.

As mentioned, I was within yards of each car at both stoplights and didn’t hear music. There was definitely no loud music playing. By definition, I’m not sure if this is racial profiling but it was definitely one of the weirdest things I’ve experienced in person. Unfortunately, I didn’t get the crazy “chase” scene on video.

“Video or it didn’t happen.”

After the confrontation, I exchanged numbers with the white car’s driver as he entered the grocery store in the event she continued harassing him. He was obviously shaken and couldn’t figure out how or why the “chase” happened. I guess Trayvon Martin isn’t the only young African American that gets followed around by creeps for strange ass reasons, eh?

https://bcclist.com/2012/05/14/trayvon-martin-george-zimmerman-court-proceedings-and-trial/

Unlike Zimmerman, I’m just glad she wasn’t armed.

P.S. The sanest this lady acted during the entire “chase” was after she (presumably) noticed me recording the happenings. Again, she got out of her parked car twice at busy intersections, pounded on his window, frantically went off at traffic that was honking, followed this dude for miles, and then tailed him for minutes in a busy parking lot. All because she thought somebody was playing music too loud. Yowser…

16 thoughts on “Racial Profiling in America

  1. Hi NLME,

    I spent early morning reading the latest thread at TalkLeft.com. This is a defense lawyer website that advocates for the accused.

    Yes, this site feels that George had every right to follow, and that because there is no report of a gun being brandished, and if TM “started” the physical altercation, then George should get off. This is evidently how Florida law is set up. There were wholly inadequate suggestions as to what TM should have done (ie. call 911, run home, talk George out of hurting him). Your site has thoroughly examined why these routes may have been blocked to TM. They seem to forget that TM had no idea what GZ was doing.

    This incident you are describing is exactly why we cannot, as a society, allow the backers of George’s actions to think they are in the right. There are powerful reasons why vigilantism undermines law and order, and these reasons are being forgotten or marginalized by citizens in our country right now. This woman was far more dangerous than any loud music could have been. Getting out in traffic, following another car, and pounding on a car window are all dangerous. She could have been setting herself up for another “self-defense” incident if that driver had reacted differently than he did.

    We simply do not have the right to tell other people what to do. To publically assume this right, and to act on it aggressively, (and dangerously), is courting personal disaster and a lawless environment in which we all must live.

    • Well said.

      Can you post comments on their site? If so, ask if it’s legal to aggressively follow a neighbor around your neighborhood, take a punch or two that you instigated, and then shoot said neighbor when you feel vulnerable. There won’t be a single response of “Yes.”

      • This has already been asked and answered in various ways. This site is set up to champion the rights of the accused, and is examining the law in Florida pertaining to this case. It’s a fascinating read. Florida self defense laws could negate this whole case. I’ve had to fight through some of my own emotions while reading it, because I’m also outraged that this boy was shot.

        • From blog commenter CommonSenseForChange:

          Following someone with no legitimate purpose is harassment at the very least.

          Your own link states:

          784.048 Stalking; definitions; penalties.—
          (1) As used in this section, the term:
          (a) “Harass” means to engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific person that causes substantial emotional distress in such person and serves no legitimate purpose.
          (b) “Course of conduct” means a pattern of conduct composed of a series of acts over a period of time, however short, evidencing a continuity of purpose. Constitutionally protected activity is not included within the meaning of “course of conduct.” Such constitutionally protected activity includes picketing or other organized protests.

  2. I once followed a dump-truck off a ramp of I-95S to tell him a 2’x2′ piece of plywood had flipped out of his truck and landed less than a car length in front of me. I just let him know, I didn’t freak out at him or anything. (Actually, HE freaked out. “Really? Omg, what if you’d been driving 1 mph faster, what if you’d been on a bike!? I’m so sorry!”)

    That was good of you, to stop for this guy and back him up. Yeah, loud music can be annoying, but what she did was just crazy-control-freak. Slow down and let some space grow between ya’, or turn up a side-road a little early, or turn up music you DO like… there’s no reason to make it a big deal!

    • I had no idea what the lady’s complaint was until after listening to the video several minutes later. The pursuit – most of it uncaptured – was as if he had done something incredibly wrong. Loud music – that nobody else in traffic could hear – doesn’t warrant anything more than an eye roll. I have a strange feeling if he was a white 21 year old, this lady would have done just that — rolled her eyes.

      But, again, I can’t even confirm his music was turned up loudly. I couldn’t hear anything out of the ordinary a few cars behind him. The passenger side windows that she was pounding on were rolled up as well. So weird…

      If you listen to the video again, he says something like: “I’m a good guy — I wouldn’t even do (or listen to) that.” When I got his contact information after the confrontation, I said something inflammatory about the lady and he responded: “I was taught to not talk about women like that.” I don’t know this guy personally but was impressed with his character.

  3. at the end of the video, you are driving off and he is walking away, did you meet up with him further away from this woman to exchange details and did you get her licence number? Anyway good job. From what i could tell she was complaing about the content of the loud music because she had kids in the car, but as another poster mentioned, turn up your own music or something. Also, considering she had kids in the caR WHAT THE FUCK WAS SHE THINKING!!!! Leaving your kids in the car in the middle of the road for anyone to car jack and trying to start a fight with someone she doesn’t know while she has her kids there. lucky for her this guy seems like a gentleman, somebody else might have gone all George Zimmerman on her ass and shot her in self defense. And what is worse, your kids hearing loud music, or your kids witness your agressive behaviour and subsequent car chase…what she did was more likely to damage her kids than any music from any car ever would. And well done for supporting this guy in a safe manner, letting this lady know what you were doing and diffusing the situation. He was obviously grateful when you showed your support.

    • Yes – I did meet up with him at the store’s entrance! We happened to be at the same store seen on his shirt but he was going in as a shopper not worker. He was creeped/flipped out and we exchanged info.

      I figured the video would capture her license plate. Nope. And, there was a bike rack and chord thing blocking it. That has to be illegal.

      Yup – The complaint was about loud music with profanity (I believe.) At the two stoplights when I was a few cars behind his, I didn’t hear anything out of the ordinary though I wasn’t paying attention to anything but her erratic behavior.

      I had no idea the driver was an African American male – it turns out much bigger than her – until my video started rolling. It could have been anybody – I was shocked she would confront somebody of his size – but when she was chasing a car around a busy parking lot, I was going no make sure I got a video.

      I also didn’t really hear her complaint until after I left the parking lot and watched the video. The driver of the white car was confused but (somewhat accurately) thought she was upset over only loud music. If I would have heard/comprehended the original complaint – you can see me turn down the radio in my bosses car – I would have looked for kids in her car.

  4. oh and this guy handled the situation perfectly. He ignored her, and carried on his way until he had no other choice. No one should pick an avoidable confrontation, especially with your kids watching. So that guy handled it beautifully and i think i have a crush on him, haha

  5. Did she really say she heard his lyrics emanating into her car? Oh my! It seems that slowing down or passing the car emanating the offensive language would have done the trick. And she does this with her kids in the car? Wow, oh, wow!

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