Friday, November 23, 2007

Rep. Davis Claims Racial Profiling

Illinois Representative Danny Davis (D) is claiming he was racially profiled by the Chicago Police after being pulled over early one morning while driving three Black colleagues (guests on his radio show) home.
Two white police officers pulled over the Democratic congressman early Monday morning, according to spokeswoman Tumia Romero.

"He thinks he was pulled over because of his race," Romero said Thursday. "He was not speeding, had a valid driver's license, wasn't swerving, but was pulled over anyway."

She said Davis had been working on his radio show until around midnight Sunday. He was driving home three of his guests -- all African-Americans -- when Chicago police officers pulled his vehicle over around 1 a.m. Monday.

The only reason the congressman can see for being stopped was that there were "four black men in the car," Romero said.

Certainly, this is not the first time the Chicago PD has stood accused of racial profiling. While I obviously don't wish this on anyone, part of me is gleeful that the police appeared to profile the wrong Black guy -- if it were anyone else this side of Barack Obama, they'd get away with it like they always do. Of course, they might anyway, but a U.S. Congressman might have a bit more heft than your average Black man would in this sort of situation.

Alternatively, of course, Davis might have been pulled over entirely legitimately. But while one might argue that he could claim racial profiling to cover his transgression, I find that very doubtful -- it's hardly worth the scrutiny over a minor traffic violation.

UPDATE: While I love comments as much as the next blogger, I'm getting real close to shutting them down on this post. Many of the comments are fine, and a few I find distasteful, but still well within acceptable bounds. A few, however, clearly have crossed the line into out-and-out racism. Please don't make generalized stereotypes about Black people -- what "they" always do or what type of cars "they" all drive. It's just ignorant. And remember that we're talking about a US Congressman here. Absent specific evidence about his behavior or attitude (like there was for ex-Rep. Cynthia McKinney), I think he's entitled to a presumption of respect.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

wtf...

play the race card, pass go... collect 200 dollars... you win.

Jackass

Anonymous said...

He should have been profiled for being in Congress. One of the most visible, prolific bodies of crooks in the entire nation.

Stop anything with Congresscritter plates - there's bound to be at least one crook in it.

Anonymous said...

ooooor... he was pulled over for driving left of the centerline. No wonder racism is so alive and well, African Americans won't let it go away.

Anonymous said...

A comment to the previous anonymous commentator. It is important not to trivialize racism as a mere African American concoction. The race card has been falsely used before, but there are times were it is very much warranted. I am reluctant to think that this case is due to racial profiling. But this is only because there is no real evidence or proof. Further investigation is needed.

Anonymous said...

If the Congressman had been armed, as we all should be in this fascist police state, he could have taught those racist pigs a bloody lesson.

Anonymous said...

Many cases are just ppl playing the race card. However, this one seems like it sure was racial profiling. Count how many tickets have been issued on this offense.

AntiTerror61 said...

Def. deserve's an investigation. That is a typical case of "D.W.B.".. If so, it is an insult to all of America

Anonymous said...

This is another perfect exsample of the blacks pulling race cards, The blacks always claim'Racial Profiling" and always will, no matter what we do to make them happy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

People like this deserve to have their asses kicked, what a asshole

Anonymous said...

If we ban arresting all blacks, then there would be no racism from police--because we all know that's what causes police to shoot and arrest blacks. More good new--we could cut our police forces and prisons 85%, think of all the money we would save. This saved money then could go back to blacks in the form of reparations for slavery!

Anonymous said...

In Illinois it's illegal to drive left of center unless you're passing. Since the average driver is going 15 mph over the speed limit on Chicago area roads, if he was driving the speed limit left of center he was creating a traffic hazard and should have been pulled over.

Anonymous said...

He may not have been drinking, and he may not have thought he crossed that center line. But he had a hard days work and was tired. Drowsy driving is a ticketable, in some cases arrestable offense treated as seriously as DUI. I bet thats what he was doing to cross!

Anonymous said...

go out some time at 1AM an tell me if you can tell the race of the folks driving by w/ their headlights on.

Anonymous said...

As a LEO myself there could be many factors here. One it was 1 am was he driving a vehicle with tinted windows? Alot of the politicians I have stopped drive SUVs with tinted windows. If this is the case if the officers were stationary or just driving down the road most times you can't tell someones race until you actually get up to the window, aftre the stop. Second this even applies during the day. It sounds like someones just complaining but these factors should be considered if they apply. I have stopped many political figures of all races for many violations speeding isn't the only reason why people get pulled over.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess if you did see tinted windows and the car was vibrating to the thud of a rap song (as well as yours), then a visual might not be required ;-)

Anonymous said...

SSDD let them find another reason to blame the "white man" for a crime they have committed. I say we get rid of affirmative action, it now need to be for protection of the "white man". So sick of the race card, Im part Native American, can I get a break like the blacks do on everything? I should be able to yell discrimination if something doesn't go my way. How many times has a black person been promoted and kept on a job just to meet a quota? Two major mistakes made in American history, putting them on the ships and bringing them her and expecting that they would actually WORK for something!

Anonymous said...

Probably a warranted stop: Senator gets pissed off because he thinks he is too important to get a ticket: he is already self-concious and paranoid because he is a black man: his biases towards whites gets the best of him and he plays the race card out of sheer ignorance.

As an honest law enforcement officer of over 9 years, drivers have accused me of stopping them because they were black on numerous occassions. Of course you weren't doing 80mph in a 45mph zone sir, you're black. I'm just using that minor traffic infraction as an excuse to stop and annoy you.

Due to the demographics of my patrol area, most of the individuals that I stop are white...... and some of them are complete A-Holes as well. Some of them say that I stop them because they are driving a beat up car, and some say I stopped them because they are driving a sports car.

I'd say that approximately 1 out of every 10 cars I stop are operated by someone who is black. For the most part, black drivers are very courteous, own up the the infraction they were stopped for, and I receive absolutely no grief from them. Generally, the infraction is minor, and I'll let them go on their way with a simple warning, excluding any exigent circumstances that made the minor infraction more serioous.

Everyone has their biases, and as a fair American, I truly hope that neither the officer, nor the congressman allowed theirs to get the best of them.

Anonymous said...

Profiling..don't you just love that term? Blacks drive around with deeply tinted windows (well beyond the limit of the law, too), have their stereos blaring, drive almost lying down or leaning against the door post, are yaking on their cell phones, have huge chrome wheels and tires (now that usually is more than the car is worth!), and, of course, the gotta have it 'cause I'm black chain license plate holder, and also a trick paint job. Driving cars like that and with the noise and all, they are just screaming for attention! But, no! God forbid a "pohliceman" pulls them over, regardless of the law(s) broken, and instantly its racial profiling! Wah, wah! Da white man be de pickin' on me agin'! He done somethin' to make mah car go real fast out of control like!" If a black cop had pulled him over he would be accused of "tomming" for the white man, or asked for the brother to give another brother a break, you know what I'm sayin'?

Anonymous said...

African Americans are also racist. It is just crazy to me that people that went through so much would be so racist. Example: The door greeter (black) asked a customer (black) for a receipt because he had some 12packs of soda unbagged which is wal-mart policy, that customer got aggrevated and decided to wait to the saide. The next customer (white) was not asked for a receipt because they had everything in a bag which is wal-mart policy. The first customer (black) called the door greeter racist! A black man called a black lady racist! Racism is just stupid. This guy in the Congress sounds pretty racist to me.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
David Schraub said...

Comment deleted -- the subject of this thread has nothing to do with affirmative action. Stay topical, please.

Anonymous said...

The race card gets pulled too often. It does nothing but create animosity. This man is an elected official who is a public official for his state. He should be setting a better example. He should be keeping his mouth shut until a complete investigation is done behind the scene. I see a nasty trend emerging in colleges where this race card issue is coming out in forms of hatred. You can fight for equality, but don't fight for preferential treatment, this race card thing just screams that.

Anonymous said...

I live in a college town in Illinois.

If late at night *ANYONE* is driving over the lines and police stop and ticket them they shouldn't be surprised.

The profile is not a racial thing. It's simply that we have a real problem with *drunk driving*.

Another problem late at night is people falling ASLEEP at the wheel.

Both of these are REALLY good reasons to pull someone over.

Now if he wasn't driving over the lines and it's a phony charge then it's probably racial profiling.

However, if he did in fact drive over *EITHER* side then he should shut up and stop crying racism.

I hear alot of people crying racism and when I hear what happened it's really not a racist issue. I really would like to believe we moved beyond it but I know it probably does still happen, sometimes.

I'm afraid what I am seeing now is people becoming deaf to the charge because we do see cases of it being used when it really doesn't on the surface at least appear to be the case.

I think the broader problem is that the media is very quick to go for the big headline "Racist", "Murderer", etc before it's really been proven. Innocent until proven guilty.

It's better to be sure before you make the claim a public decree and then after it is proven to be racist...make sure that the people responsible don't get appropriate punishment.

Bottom line, I don't see the Chicago PD as the agressor here. I see a political figure using his platform to score points with his constituency as the most likely case.

Now, if it indeed turns out he did nothing wrong...then by all means beat the reputation of the Chicago PD to a bloody pulp...but in this country I believe everyone accused of wrong doing should be considered innocent until proven guilty.

I'm sick of the media pushing the whole guilty until proven innocent thing. AKA: Duke rape cases, etc.

Anonymous said...

The Duke Lacross case was another example of racism. Not of white people being racist, but black people being racist. I understand black people may have gone through some bad times growing up, but a 20 something year old to need revenge is just bizzare.

The craziest thing I have heard so far was quoted from a black student at NCCU (the same town as Duke.) They said something to the affect that even if the Duke students where not guilty they should go to jail! WOW!

Elan said...

Black people seriously need to stop blaming everything that goes wrong with them on racial profiling. Shit happens to white people also.

Bryan said...

I am a middle aged white man.
If a black cop pulls me over at 1 am - can I claim racial discrimination? I think not.
To use race as an excuse for one's actions shows that you personally have a problem with race.
I ft the officers in question were black, this would not even have been an issue. The fact that he was given a citation shows something was wrong. This will all play out in the court system. If the congressman did something wrong, he should own up to it and not use race as a reason for his troubles.

Anonymous said...

Upset set because someone had the nerve to pull HIM over, he vowed revenge- Play the race card. Wow, that is a new one. Was the Congressman Thief from New Orleans, Jefferson, with him in the car?????

Anonymous said...

If you've not committed a crime, then you have nothing to fear. The police were just doing their jobs. Was he hiding something? Was he drunk or high? What did he do to create the probable cause for the cops to stop him?

Anonymous said...

I would think that at 1 a.m. in the morning that it would be almost impossible to be able to determine the race of passengers without shining a bright light ( blinding the driver, causing an accident ) ,but I would think that it was resonable to pull a vehichle over for not staying within the given lane , therefore I would think that it would be more honorable to pay the fine for that infraction , and drop the " Racial " card ... I however do believe that someone here was being a " racist " ! ( not the officers )

Anonymous said...

How did this turn out for the Congressman in court? Did he pay the fine? Did he appear?

Anonymous said...

I know these police officers and exactly what happened, the sad part is they can't tell their side of the story. Danny Davis is a slandering individual who feeds and breeds on the use of the word "Racial Profiling". In all fairness, the two White officers should be "thanked" for putting their lives at risk in a primarly Black neighborhood, where are all the Black officers, if Davis is worried about profiling, let him hit the beat and get shot at. I find it interesting that Davis could appear on National Media and New Papers, but could not show up in court...how many times....if your going to lead like a true leader Mr. Congressman, then do so, if not "shut up and leave Chicago".
Pugs