Racial profiling testimony & texting while driving

The following audio is my testimony at a town hall on racial profiling last night at Wayne State University Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights regarding religious profiling of mosques by the FBI and the double standard of FBI protocols with the Imam Luqman Abdullah raid to the Hutaree raid cases.

Click here to listen.

The forum, which was sponsored by Rights Working Group had panelists taking testimony on racial and religious profiling in Michigan.

Some of the panelists included U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade, MI State Rep. Rashida Tlaib and MI Civil Rights Commissioner Nabih Ayad.

On another note, the texting while driving ban goes into effect today in Michigan where operators of motor vehicles can be pulled and ticketed if police officers reasonably assume that a driver is texting behind the wheel.  Although this banned was not directly mentioned last night, a Latino American and a South Asian American (neither being Muslim) testified about their experiences of Driving While Brown where police officers used flimsy excuses to pull, harass and ticket them and others who they know in Detroit and Troy.

Though texting while driving is dangerous and should be banned, the law which allows it to be an offense to be pulled and ticketed will unfortunately be another tool for some law enforcement officers to racially and religiously profile drivers.  Such as in New York City where 25% of the residents are Black yet Blacks make up 80% of those pulled and ticketed, most major cities and their suburban enclaves see a disproportionate amount of people of color receiving tickets via targeted policing.

It will be interesting to see this time next year how many Michigan residents log complaints of being pulled and harassed under the pretext of texting while driving as well as the data of who is being pulled for texting while driving in general throughout the entire state.

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