Driving While Black: Racial Profiling On Our Nation's Highways

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On a hot summer afternoon in Augustyear-old U. Gerald and his young son Gregory drove across the Oklahoma border into a nightmare. A career soldier and a highly decorated veteran of Desert Storm and Operation United Shield in Somalia, SFC Gerald, a black man of Panamanian descent, found that he could not travel more than 30 minutes through the state without being stopped twice: first by the Roland City Police Department, and then by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol. During the second stop, which lasted two-and-half hours, the troopers terrorized SFC Gerald's year-old son with a police dog, placed both father and son in a closed car with the air conditioning off and fans blowing hot air, and warned that the dog would attack if they attempted to escape. Halfway through the episode — perhaps realizing the extent of their lawlessness — the troopers shut off the patrol car's video evidence camera.

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