America's battle with racism boiled to the surface last year in the wake of George Floyd's death and there's still a long way to go.
America has a racial-profiling problem and there are constant reminders of it, everywhere. It's been barely a week since 20-year-old Daunte Wright, a Black man, was shot dead by a police officer. Wright's death comes even as Derek Chauvin is being tried in court for George Floyd's death. A study revealed that African-Americans are more likely to be killed by police than White people. Violent encounters with the police have profound effects on health, neighborhoods, life chances, and politics. According to the study, police also plays a key role in maintaining structural inequalities between people of color and white people in the United States.
The deaths of George Floyd, Daunte Wright, Breonna Taylor, are all examples of racial profiling. While many may live in denial of the problem of race in America, a question posed to Twitter by William Kimeria offered a glimpse into the seemingly deep-rooted problem. Kimeria, who's a software engineer from San Francisco, asked “Black people, answer this with the most ridiculous reason you have been stopped by police.” The responses were filled with heartbreaking stories and it went viral. The Twitter thread has been liked more than 45,000 times.
Black people, answer this with the most ridiculous reason you have been stopped by police.— William kimeria (@wkimeria) April 12, 2021
Mine is “not waiting the requisite amount of time between indicating a lane change and changing lanes”
Here are some of the responses to the tweet:
Cops stopped my teen sons for a stolen vehicle although the car was in my name-same last name. A girl with them called me & I went to the scene. They still didn't want to let them go because it was suspicious they were 18 & not in the LAPD system & must have fake ID.— dogonvillage (@dogonvillage) April 13, 2021
So he was basically giving tickets to mostly black folk in order to fill his class that he was getting paid to teach. It infuriated my mother and she took it before a judge and won.— Yrg (@MeconiumHappens) April 13, 2021
After every project I live with the music in my 1st car —-hours driving listening to the final product. Got pulled over after mastering our #GameTheory Lp at @TempleUniv —-in was told high auto theft in the area & “it looked weird cause I was driving a college student car”— B.R.O.theR. ?uestion (@questlove) April 14, 2021
the thing that got me was when I rolled window down & he was like “no way questlove?!....wait THIS is your car? (Scion XB) there was this “call off” signal he gave to the other cops behind him which told me my celebrity saved me from what was really about to happen.— B.R.O.theR. ?uestion (@questlove) April 14, 2021
I was pulled over as an Air Force recruiter in uniform for driving too slow in a residential community. I was invited to talk about the Air Force by a family. Cop yelled at me for being in the area until he saw my uniform.— Brian Neube (@BrianNeube) April 13, 2021
I was terrified that if I said the wrong thing he’d kill my dad in front of me.— Diversity in Horror (they/them) (@diversityhorror) April 13, 2021
They stopped my daughter who was on her way home from school. They asked for her ID....A 6TH GRADER!!!! What 6th grader you know got ID?!? Gettin' heated again thinking about that bullsh*t! 🤬— Lipstick Tomboy (@Lip_stickTomboy) April 13, 2021
parking lot. I watched him sputter while happy white families entered & exited the Blockbuster Video, and he made up something about a "safety check" & pulled off.— JOHNSON (@Johnson20XX) April 13, 2021
Other time I was pulled over as a passenger while my white college best friend was driving with expired insurance.
A few years earlier with the same friend, a cop approaches us. Says there was a carjacking in the area and we looked suspicious. We. Were. On. Foot.— O. Edwin Ozoma (@edwinozoma) April 13, 2021
I was driving, sitting up straight with both hands on the steering wheel. The police officer said my posture made me look suspicious. He walked up gun drawn. I was 19 or 20.— Audrey.py (@audreyakwenye) April 13, 2021
I was a teenager, and I was stopped and taken downtown because I was 15 minutes late to school. School was a block away.— Destigmatize Mental Health y'all! (@thebrettina) April 13, 2021
The officer actually threatened me to get me in their car. I missed three tests that day. Truancy was the reason.
They pulled into MY DRIVEWAY and high beamed me as I struggled to unlock my front door...WITH BAGS OF GROCERIES ON THE FLOOR AROUND MY FEET AND IN MY ARMS.— The Foncé 👍🏿😷 (@ChocnessMonsta) April 13, 2021
I held up the keys, jingled them and said "I live here you assholes."
They drove off.
Claimed I ran a light. When I told them that I knew full well that I hadn't, they admitted that one of them just wanted my number. I was dressed up to go clubbing that night. 🤮— Jeanette *Gini* Ponder (@giniponder) April 13, 2021
I was 10 or 11 walking home from school in Hayward, CA. A cop stopped me because he deemed me, a school kid, "suspicious" walking through an apt complex with a backpack on. I told him where I lived and he cuffed me and walked me thru the complex to my doorstep for confirmation.— Shinobi Bryant (@Mack11Plays) April 13, 2021
I was stopped for driving a new, but stripped down, 1981 Toyota Corolla. After I showed him the registration, the police officer said I had to admit it was suspicious that someone like me was driving a new car, and advised me to trade it in for a more suitable used car.— (((Aubyn Fulton))) (@DrAubyn) April 13, 2021
Stopped when I was 15 coming home from playing basketball. I was one house away from my house. Cop says there were break ins in my neighborhood. Luckily neighbor was home little old white lady who came out told me to go home and then commenced to cursing the cop out.— Johnathan Lightfoot ☁ (@exnav29) April 13, 2021
My brother walked out of the 7-11 when a cop car pulled in for donuts. By the time we were a block away we had been pulled over and he and my neighbor, also a black man, were being taken to jail. I had to walk home.— Mademoiselle CM (@mllecm) April 13, 2021
There was no reason for their arrest.
Making eye contact. Evidently they don't want anyone to look at them. It's damn scary. It seemed irrational. It was irrational.— pl (@1woman) April 13, 2021
Chicago. They wanted to know why I had a white baby in my car. I was his nanny.— Openly Black Unprisoning My Think Rhino (@spladayum) April 13, 2021
Taking my son to work. Police claimed my license plate light was out. Mechanic husband checked it when I returned home-it worked fine until we traded the vehicle 4 years later.— Y'all Mask Up & Stay Safe (@Smithsheila00) April 13, 2021
My 16 year old called me terrified. She was in our neighborhood but being followed by a cop. I went to the front yard to wait. She pulled into the driveway. The cop did a U and sped off. No reason. Just terrorizing a kid.— CB Metu (@lmstineb) April 13, 2021
I was filling my tank and an Officer at another pump said I look like someone who’s license was suspended and demanded to see my license. I had 2 of my grandkids in the car. That was the first and last time I allowed my grandson to curse in front of me because we were all enraged— Grandma Gretchen (@wechoosewisdom) April 13, 2021
Breaking up a fight between two white guys in college. Resulted in a gun being pointed at my head by the officer. That was closest I’ve been to death— B Q (@bvquinn) April 13, 2021
I'll quote my dearly departed Mother. One night we were going to Cubb foods in Bridgeview Illinois and were pulled over by the police. They asked if she knew why they pulled her over, she said: 'because I'm a big Black woman, driving a Black black car, minding my black ass— Queena (@luvscure1) April 14, 2021
I got a ticket for making a left turn at an intersection with a ‘no u-turn’ sign. The officer said that a u-turn is a series of left turns so he was justified in pulling and ticketing me.— heather mackey (@mama_mackey) April 13, 2021
Incidents of police brutality were also exposed during the protests last year in the wake of George Floyd's death. A 75-year-old elderly protester was shoved to the ground in an incident in Buffalo, New York in a gruesome incident caught on camera. He was bleeding after he hit his head on the ground. Despite the incident being caught on video, the police department claimed the 75-year-old Martin Gugino "tripped and fell," reported The Huffington Post. Trump even claimed the elderly man bleeding after hitting his head on the concrete wall was a 'set up.'
Celebrities also joined in to voice their support for the African-American community. "We are literally hunted EVERYDAY/EVERYTIME. Can’t even go for a damn jog man!" wrote NBA star LeBron James.