Racial profiling is a problem that is seemingly an epidemic in law enforcement agencies in New York and across the nation. In traffic stops, whether a driver may be breaking the law often seems to matter less to officers than the color of the driver’s skin.
This even extends to celebrities. Two NBA players discovered that their successes on the court did not protect them from traffic stops and vehicle searches.
Tinted windows led to a vehicle search
One player received a courtesy warning from officers who allegedly pulled him over for the tinting level on his windows. However, in his account of the incident on social media, he stated that law enforcement searched his car without probable cause in an attempt to find illegal substances. Law enforcement took no further actions against the NBA guard, but he warned his followers to be aware of the threat of racial profiling at traffic stops.
Lack of probable cause did not stop officers
Another player received a felony drug charge after what a judge recently determined was an illegal traffic stop. The court ruling noted that law enforcement officers did not have a clear reason to pull the vehicle over in the first place. An arrest with no probable cause followed, and after this injustice, the officers conducted an improper search of the vehicle.
The search did uncover illegal substances, but because of the unlawful stop, arrest and search, the judge ruled that the evidence was not admissible in court, resulting in dropped charges. Although justice won in this case, the player still may lose a place on the team that had put off signing him due to the possible criminal case he was facing.
Expose civil rights violations
These two cases are a drop in the bucket when it comes to the number of people who fall victim to law enforcement’s apparent disregard for civil rights. Fortunately, the law allows for those who have experienced racial profiling to take action against such officers.