While walking in her Corinth, Texas, neighborhood, Dorothy Bland ventured into the middle of the road, which prompted two police officers to make contact with her for her own safety. Ms. Bland’s gender, race, or age could not be determined until the officers approached her.
When you’re walking up this way, make sure you’re walking on this side of the road. I don’t know if you not noticed there was a truck that pretty much had to go to a stop because he didn’t see you working out and stuff. But just make sure you’re on this side that way, because you’re impeding traffic, for one. And two, it’s a safety issue. We don’t want you to get hit.
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Following standard procedure, the officers asked Bland for identification because she had committed a Class C misdemeanor by impeding traffic.
Officer: “Do you mind if I get your name and date of birth real quick? I like to make sure I put it with the call.”
Bland: “Sure. I mean if I’m going to get stopped again I would certainly want it on record.”
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Bland and the officers remained cordial during the brief encounter.
I’m a perfectly law-abiding citizen. And I pay lots of taxes too, by the way.
Dorothy Bland, the Dean of the University of North Texas Mayborn School of Journalism, wrote a column in The Dallas Morning News accusing the Denton police officers of racial profiling.
Like most African-Americans, I am familiar with the phrase ‘driving while black’, but was I really stopped for being on the street in my own neighborhood? Yes. in the words of Sal Ruibal, ‘Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions. May God have mercy on our nation.’
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