Racism

Black city employee parks his car to read a book and gets harassed by cops for ‘looking suspicious’

According to Louizandre Dauphin, he was just looking for a quiet place to read a book by C.S. Lewis when he parked his car near a wharf in northeastern New Brunswick, only to have police pull him over as he was about to leave.

Image via Instagram

According to Louizandre Dauphin, he was just looking for a quiet place to read a book by C.S. Lewis when he parked his car near a wharf in northeastern New Brunswick, only to have police pull him over as he was about to leave.

The RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) said they had received “several” calls about a “suspicious person” in the area.

The 33-year-old Bathurst resident is the city’s director of parks. He also happens to be black, which is why he believes he was pulled over.

“Before any more Canadians get too comfortable on their high horses, let me share with you what happened to me about an hour ago,” he said on an Instagram post. “This week has not been easy for me. Amidst a number of personal and professional struggles, my mind has been occupied with the latest string of black males killed by the police over the last few days. So, instead of stewing in my apartment, I decided to take a drive to the Stonehaven Wharf and sit by the water on this cold, rainy July day and try to pacify my mind by reading the works of Timothy Keller and C.S. Lewis.”

Dauphin explained that he was sitting by the ocean for a couple of hours and decided to drive back home. He then saw a police car speed past him while another come up behind him.

“So, a black male, sitting in his car, reading a book is suspicious activity. Good to know,” Dauphin concluded. “At this rate, I may never leave my home again.”

Before any more Canadians get too comfortable on their high horses, let me share with you what happened to me about an hour ago. This week has not been easy for me. Amidst a number of personal and professional struggles, my mind has been occupied with the latest string of black males killed by the police over the last few days. So, instead of stewing in my apartment, I decided to take a drive to the Stonehaven Wharf and sit by the water on this cold, rainy July day and try to pacify my mind by reading the works of Timothy Keller and C.S. Lewis. After a couple hours by the ocean, quietly reading in my car, I begin the drive back to my apartment. I’m 20 minutes in to my drive back home and I notice an RCMP cruiser speed by me, travelling in the opposite direction. 10 minutes later, I notice the same cruiser approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. Naturally, I check my speedometer and I’m travelling at 87km/h in a 100km/h zone, following the car in front of me (the speed at which people drive out here is another story). Since I’m travelling so slowly I don’t think anything of the cruiser behind me until he hit his lights. I pull over and wait for him to approach. Thankfully, he is kind and respectful and asks me the usual questions; where I’m from and where I’m going. He then proceeds to ask me if I was in Janeville earlier this evening. I tell him that I was at the Stonehaven Wharf reading a book pointing to the two books in the passenger seat. He smiles and says that a few citizens in Janeville called the police because of a suspicious black man in a white car was parked at the Wharf for a couple hours. My response, “Really? I was just reading a book.” He smiles, shrugs and replies, “Well, you know, it’s a small town.” and proceeds to ask me for my license. He verifies my information and sends me on my way. So, a black male, sitting in his car, reading a book is suspicious activity. Good to know. At this rate, I may never leave my home again. #DangerousNegro

A photo posted by Louizandre Dauphin (@veraxial) on

According to the CBC, this isn’t the first time Dauphin was harassed by cops. About five years ago, he was stopped by police in his own neighborhood. The officer asked him for his ID and what he was doing in the area. When Dauphin asked the officer if he’d done anything wrong, the officer replied “no” and let him go.

“It was just another reminder that you can be a suspect in your neighborhood,” Dauphin said.

[Raw Story]

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    May 7, 2017 at 9:14 pm

    Hello.This article was really motivating, particularly because I was searching for thoughts on this issue last Saturday.

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