Dorothy Bland, dean of the journalism school at the University of North Texas, was recently out walking one Saturday morning when she was pulled over by two cops, cops she now accuses of racism.
Bland penned a piece in the Dallas Morning News in which she stated that she was caught “walking while black.”
Bland wrote: “I stopped and asked the two officers if there was a problem; I don’t remember getting a decent answer before one of the officers asked me where I lived and for identification.”
She went on:
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?
She stated in her column that “I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood.”
Bland used her iPhone to capture the two officers and then their license plate in her picture.
Bland wrote she thought of “dozens” of blacks “who have died while in police custody,” and then posted the article to Facebook “for safety’s sake.” She then stated that she “posted the photo of the officers on Facebook, and within hours, more than 100 Facebook friends spread the news from New York to California.”
Little did Bland know that there was a camera installed in the police vehicle which captured the entirety of the incident.
Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall replied to Bland’s comments about the incident in a column posted beneath Bland’s in The Dallas Morning News.
Walthall said that the stop was about safety, not race, and that the video from the camera installed in the police vehicle proves it.
In the video, the police officers clearly state the reason she was being pulled over – impeding traffic while walking and listening to her earbuds.
Walthall wrote: “My officers, a field training officer and his recruit, observed Ms. Bland walking in the roadway wearing earbuds and unaware that there was a pickup truck directly behind her that had to almost come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her.”
She also 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.”
Walthall said that after people watch the video, they will be sure that the officers were concerned about keeping her safe.