Dorothy Bland, dean of the journalism school at the University of North Texas, was out for a walk on Saturday morning when “flashing lights and sirens from a police vehicle” halted her exercise routine.
Bland was reportedly stunned when police stepped out of their vehicles and approached her.
“Like most African-Americans, I am familiar with the phrase ‘driving while black,’ but was I really being stopped for walking on the street in my own neighborhood?” she asked in an article she wrote for the Dallas Morning News.
“Yes,” she answered, according to The Blaze. “In the words of Sal Ruibal, ‘Walking while black is a crime in many jurisdictions. May God have mercy on our nation.’”
I’m sure you can see where this is going…Here’s what Bland said happened next:
I remember saying something like, “Around the corner. This is my neighborhood, and I’m a taxpayer who pays a lot of taxes.” As for the I.D. question, how many Americans typically carry I.D. with them on their morning walk? Do you realize I bought the hoodie I was wearing after completing the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education in 2014? Do you realize I have hosted gatherings for family, friends, faculty, staff and students in my home? Not once was a police officer called. To those officers, my education or property-owner status didn’t matter. One officer captured my address and date of birth.
The Dean figured she “was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood. I told the police I didn’t like to walk in the rain, and one of them told me, ‘My dog doesn’t like to walk in the rain.’ Ouch!”
She added that “for safety’s sake” she used an iPhone to take photos of the officers and their cruiser, because she did not want to end up like “the dozens of others who have died while in police custody.”
Bland’s story quickly went viral, but when Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall saw it, she knew the Dean wasn’t being entirely truthful. In a followup piece for the Dallas Morning Times, Walthall pointed out that the officers detained Bland for her own safety.
Walthall wrote that Bland was walking on the street with her headphones on “unaware that there was a pickup truck directly behind her that had to almost come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her.”
“The driver of the truck looked at the officers as they passed and held his hands in the air, which implied ‘aren’t you going to do something about this?’” the chief wrote. “The officers turned around and drove behind Ms. Bland.”
The officers then told Bland that for her own safety, she should walk against traffic instead.
“Ms. Bland had been observed earlier by these same officers, but she was not in the street and impeding traffic, so she was not contacted,” Walthall wrote.
“Impeding traffic is a Class C misdemeanor, and it is our policy to ask for identification from people we encounter for this type violation,” the chief added. “I am surprised by her comments as this was not a confrontational encounter but a display of professionalism and genuine concern for her safety.”
Walthall also noted that Bland never contacted police to apologize after learning of their intentions.
“The citizens of Corinth as a whole are a highly educated population,” Walthall concluded, “and it is disappointing that one of our residents would attempt to make this a racial issue when clearly it is not.”
Classic race-baiters: they never like to admit they’re WRONG!
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