ABlack driver was correct when he predicted in his December 2017 Facebook live video that Iowa police would stop him for no good reason—and now he’s getting paid for the violation of his rights.
Data shows that police officers across the nation disproportionately pull over Black drivers for minor offenses—real or imagined. They use it as a pretext to conduct unconstitutional searches, yet relatively few of the many instances wind up in court, much less with a settlement.
Des Moines, Iowa officials agreed on Tuesday to settle Lonnie Porter’s lawsuit for $25,000, the Des Moines Register reported.
Porter had a critical piece of evidence from his Dec. 6 encounter with the Des Moines police officer: a video that captured exactly what happened.
In the 13-minute long Facebook live video, Porter began recording before Officer Sean O’Neill pulled him over. The officer told the 41-year-old driver that his temporary license plate was not fully visible. However, the video showed that the paper tag, typically given for new vehicle purchases, was displayed in the back window. In the video and the lawsuit, Porter said the stop was bogus.
“You can’t see the date?” Porter asks the officer. “I get it. I get it. I get it. You see what I’m talking about, Facebook?”
Ultimately, the officer did not write a ticket.
That driving while Black incident is all too common. A Black driver is about 31 percent more likely to get pulled over by an officer than a white driver, according to the Washington Post. At the same time, Cops are more likely to stop Black drivers for vehicle defects, such as a broken taillight, or for a records check than other races. Civil liberties organizations call those incidents “pretext stops” that are used to justify a search.
“Pretextual traffic stops are not only unfair, but they also drive system-wide racial disparities on the basis of race. They are inherently dishonest, and for people of color, we’ve seen too many times that they are dangerous,” Mark Stringer, ACLU of Iowa executive director, told NewsOne. For every police encounter that results in injury or death, there are thousands more that don’t, but those stops still lead to fear and distrust in police.
Like many police departments, law enforcement agencies across Iowa don’t collect race data for all stops made by their officers, Stringer noted.
“We believe they should. Not just for arrests or where officers issue a ticket but for all stops—including ones where no ticket is issued or no arrest is made–to give a more complete picture of what’s going on in terms of policing in Des Moines,” he added.
A lack of evidence often makes it difficult to win driving while Black lawsuits. As with Porter’s case, a cellphone video helped a Black driver and his brother to win a $212,000 settlement from Colorado Springs officials in 2017.
The Des Moines Police Department denied that O’Neill racially profiled Porter. But then, these denials from the police are typical.
Twitter Reacts To Bill Cosby Being Sentenced To State Prison
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If you feel sorry for #BillCosby, keep walking past my mentions or expect an auto-block.— Victoria Brownworth #GetVaccinatedNOW (@VABVOX) September 25, 2018
SEVENTY women of all races accused him of rape over 40yrs.
He finally got convicted of ONE.
FEEL SORRY FOR ALL THE WOMEN WHOSE LIVES HE DAMAGED.
Read about THEM herehttps://t.co/CMPbGOxiE7
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All I have to say is the same punishment needs to apply for all. If Bill Cosby is going to prison, so does:— Brandon Fluellen (@BMFluellen1) September 25, 2018
And the countless other sexual deviants too. pic.twitter.com/sk8gClRi9h
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Bill Cosby is no different than the Catholic Church-claiming Moral Authority in Public Space while committing the WORST abuses & betrayals of trust behind Closed Doors. I do not feel sorry for Cos. I feel sorry for THE WOMEN he’s hurt, & EVERYONE he’s betrayed.— Vernon Reid (@vurnt22) September 25, 2018
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You’ll support Bill Cosby and R Kelly because you have a misplaced sense of loyalty to men who mean us harm.— Kelechi (@kelechnekoff) September 25, 2018
Actual mad ting.
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If somebody had told me 30 years ago that Donald Trump would be president and Bill Cosby would be in prison, I would’ve told them that they had lost their damned mind.— Captain Montego (@M3g4d37h) September 25, 2018
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Bill Cosby is anti-black, practiced respectability politics and a rapist and because you watched The Cosby Show growing up it's sad to see Cosby go like that? Fuck you, stop enabling rape culture and believe survivors.— Black Fat Queer (@FlamingFatQueer) September 25, 2018
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Anyone feeling sorry for Bill Cosby right now, has rapey tendencies.— Kelechi (@kelechnekoff) September 25, 2018
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America has always had an agenda to disgrace and discredit the black man #BillCosby— ♈️AriesQueen♈️ (@NiqsQueenDom) September 26, 2018
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I’ll never get how one can come from a marginalized people yet marginalize people. For all the joy he brought to folks it was ultimately incommensurate with the wickedness he wrought. Bill Cosby brought this on himself and, sadly in 3-10 years his victims pain will still be there— Cyrus McQueen (@CyrusMMcQueen) September 25, 2018
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Bill Cosby admitted to drugging women before having sex with (raping) them and y’all continue to reach from here to Pluto to defend him bc it’s a “conspiracy to keep down the Black man” stop it.— LC (@lachellerising) September 25, 2018
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Please tweet your opinions on Bill Cosby so I’ll know who to unfollow because they support rapists.— meg griffin. (@_princessLan) September 25, 2018
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I’m happy Bill Cosby is behind bars but y’all gotta put the Harvey’s behind bars too. Like where tf are their ppl’s Justice?! Only the black guy right smfh— KatherineParadise (@KatParadise77) September 26, 2018
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Y'all do know it took thirteen years to get to this point with Bill Cosby? Folks act like he got arrested on Monday and sentenced on Wednesday. This was a very long time coming.— Ruby's Granddaughter (@lizzyemcee) September 25, 2018
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It’s really sad and concerning seeing some of the black community defending Bill Cosby, it makes you think they have something to hide to? Like I’m seeing man black man even just jump to call this racism. #WTF— D'Artagnan J. Young 🦉 / TheRealDexy86 (@Dartagnan1986) September 26, 2018
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City Agrees To $25,000 Payout In Rare Driving While Black Settlement was originally published on newsone.com