"I'm a 40 year old white male, living in a sleepy southern city. I teach in an inner-city school in a larger city, so I get to see both sides of the issues between police and minorities. I always try to explain both sides to each other, believing (probably naively), that if we communicate enough, we can stop hating each other so much.
A lot of that changed last week when I was pulled over for "not wearing a seat belt," (Which, of course, I was wearing.)
So, I'm driving to the pharmacy, exhausted after a long day and my 6 month old is crying in the back seat. All of a sudden, I notice a police cruiser come flying up behind me and hits the lights. I haven't been pulled over in nearly 20 years. The roads are tight, so I couldn't just pull over. I moved up the road and found a parking lot and pulled in.
My baby started screeching, so I turned around in my seat to try to reach for his binky and I accidentally hit my door knob with my elbow, opening the door slightly. I know that I should have just sat there with my hands on the wheel, but like I said, it had been a long day, and my head hurt.
All of a sudden there was screaming. I looked in the mirror and saw a young female police officer pointing and yelling at me as two more cruisers swerved into the parking lot behind her.
I put my hands up and turned around and sat at the steering wheel. I lowered the window as she eased up. I noticed she was putting her weapon back in the holster.
She wanted my drivers' license, registration, and proof of insurance. "Sure." I asked her what was wrong, and she said she pulled me over because I didn't have my seat belt on.
That really threw me off. I NEVER drive without a seat belt. Ever. My father was a race-car driver, and he really instilled in me the necessity of seat belts. I told the officer that I always wear it, and she looked me over. I feel as if she was surprised. Maybe the real reason they pulled me over was they were looking for someone? I don't know.
She took my information back to her car and came back in less than 20 seconds, letting me go this time. The other two cars pulled away and she was gone with them before I could even think to look and see what PD she was with.
This really surprised me. In a sleepy town, the cops are pulling over someone for "seat belt violation," and pulling weapons on us? It takes three cars to check the safety of this seat belt?"