Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump gave his Twitter followers a bit of advice after posting a video of a police officer trying to find an excuse to search a Black man’s car during a traffic stop.
“Racial Profiling 101: Some cops use trivial laws to justify stopping Black drivers, like a metal frame “obscuring” a state’s name on your license plate. But a Black man acting “nervous” with police is NOT probable cause. It’s EXPECTED now,” Crump captioned the video.
Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump gave his Twitter followers a bit of advice after posting a video of a police officer trying to find an excuse to search a Black man’s car during a traffic stop. (Photo: Ben Crump/Twitter screenshot)
In the video, the officer told the man he pulled him over on what was apparently a motorway in North Carolina because of a license plate infraction and was letting him off with a warning. However, the interaction became tense after the officer asked to search the man’s car.
“Do you have anything illegal in the car with you?” the officer asked.
The man confirmed he did not before the officer asked if he had any weapons in his possession.
“Do you mind if I look?” the officer asked, referring to the man’s car.
“No,” the driver replied.
“No, you don’t mind or no I can’t look?” the officer questioned.
“No, I don’t give you permission,” the man said.
The officer noted the man “seemed pretty nervous” during their talk. The driver confirmed he was anxious and told the officer he knew he was going to be pulled over after he saw the officer “eying” him at a traffic light. The man also noted he was driving a new car in a “high-crime area.”
The officer agreed with the man’s assessment of the environment and chided him for refusing to answer questions.
“You’re absolutely right, you’re in a high crime, high drug area,” the officer told him. “You won’t tell where you’re coming from or where you’re going.”
The man disagreed with the officer’s assessment and they began to bicker.
“You see that I have a CDL, right? I’m a truck driver,” the driver stated. “I don’t need to be doing anything illegal while I’m driving.”
The officer doubled down on his point, and the driver reminded him he was a tax-paying citizen.
“I pay taxes on this vehicle, on this public street I can drive anywhere I want,” the man said.
The officer told the man to step aside so another officer can bring in a K-9 dog to look around the perimeter of the car. The video ended after the driver stated he did not consent to the search as the other cop apparently was bringing up the police dog.
The video was viewed more than 37,000 times. In a subsequent tweet, Crump explained the cops’ potential justification for using a dog.
“Remember this… to search your car without consent or warrant, cops need probable cause there’s evidence of a crime inside … but can walk a drug dog around your car,” he wrote. “If the K9 smells drugs, that’s probable cause to search your car.”
The video drew outraged reactions from many viewers.
“They initiated that pull over just to investigate him for other things, and then wonder why we don’t trust cops,” tweeted one person.
“Dude said the driver was nervous like police not killing unarmed Black Men/Women every other day,” wrote another viewer.
“The cop tried so f—-n hard to escalate the situation,” observed one more watcher.