When a black studies professor from an Ivy League university was pulled over, what would have been a simple arrest became a maze of allegations.
Professor Imani Perry was arrested for speeding, having a suspended license, as well as open arrest warrant for a three-year-old parking ticket.
“The police treated me inappropriately and disproportionately,” the Princeton professor wrote in a lengthy Facebook post, which she has since taken down. “The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter.”
“There are a number of commentators online who have repeated to me an all-too-common formulation: ‘Well, if you hadn’t done anything wrong, this wouldn’t have happened.’ But this demand for behavioral perfection from Black people in response to disproportionate policing and punishment is a terrible red herring,” she wrote.
The Princeton police are not taking criticism from the college and Perry lying down. They released the full 30-minute video that shows Perry’s arrest. The video shows officers speaking calmly and politely to Perry throughout the incident.
“What you’re going to have to do is come with us, it’s $130, so if you have that money we’ll be able to post and we’ll be able to get you right back out,” one officer said to Perry during the video.
Perry was initially stopped for driving 67 mph in a 45 mph zone, according to Capt. Nicholas K. Sutter, the department chief. He said all departmental procedures were followed to the letter in the incident, and that Perry had to be arrested because of the open warrant.
After she arrived at the police station, police handcuffed Perry to a workstation, Sutter said. She texted that she was handcuffed to a desk.
“Every single person brought back there is secured while the officer is processing,” he said, adding that exceptions were made if for injured suspects. He said the process during which Perry would have been handcuffed usually lasts 15 minutes. He said she was at the station for about an hour.
“I don’t want to sound in any way like I am being defensive or arguing that Dr. Perry is not entitled to feel the way she does,” Sutter said. “We are part of the larger law enforcement community in our current times in law enforcement. Therefore I understand how in this climate we can be perceived to be a microcosm of that.”
BCN editor’s note: This article first appeared at Western Journalism.
A microcosm? Your handling, indeed your departments handling of Dr. Perry, including YOUR acceptance of this protocol is an embarrassment to our civilized society. This IS a very MACROCOSM part of the current “police/civilian” climate in this country! Shame on you AND your department for allowing this to happen to anyone!
Your departments response:Capt. Nicholas K. Sutter, said “all departmental procedures were followed to the letter in the incident, and that Perry had to be arrested because of the open warrant”.
This police behavior should be appalling to every American!
Police departments have become rot with the idea that THEY are the Gods of our society, with these so called “procedures”. Your comment concerning the arrest is a classic example of a culture of police elitism in this country. I do,however, disagree with Dr. Perry on one point;as well as, most civil rights activist, with regard to her statement: “The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter.
There are a number of commentators online who have repeated to me an all-too-common formulation: ‘Well, if you hadn’t done anything wrong, this wouldn’t have happened.’ But this demand for behavioral perfection from Black people in response to disproportionate policing and punishment is a terrible red herring”. I believe the police attitude in this country IS an elitist one! It is no longer based on racial make up. Police regularly practice elitist behavior with everyone of every color, it isn’t even a question to a growing number of American citizens any longer. I am sickened as an American by our legal and police culture in this country; furthermore, until “We The People” stand TOGETHER and unite for the greater cause of ALL Americans, instead of thinking, because of historical reasons (accurate facts to say the least), our legal system, including police, are targeting one race or another, “We The People” will NEVER be truly free again!
We hear so much rhetoric from politicians saying how they are going to overhaul;in fact, repeal Obamacare in some cases. How about repealing OUR nations CORRUPT legal system?!!! From top to bottom this topic needs to be out in the open, especially today, with social media being so powerful and far reaching. We have corruption to the highest degrees in every level of office representing so called “JUSTICE”!
No officer Sutter! Dr. Perry is not ONLY entitled to her feelings of INJUSTICE, she is entitled to respect and proper field decision making from an officer of the law….shame on you and your department for being self entitled elitist!!!
I feel you have feelings about feeling like a victim snd I feel you need to start thinking more.
This wouldn’t happen if she did not violate traffic laws by exceeding the speed limit and pay her over 2 years old parking tickets. She thinks she is entitled by not paying the parking tickets?
good point, Rob. And don’t forget that she was driving on a suspended license.
Stop whining. she didn’t pay tickets, she was driving on a suspended license and she was endangering others by speeding. what are police supposed to do, give her an award? sickening.
Speeding while on a suspended lic fo other traffic violations. Sorry…but I dont feel sorry for Perry…I feel sorry for the tax payers that have to hire law enforcement to process irresponsible adults like her!
Cop Haters are generally the ones that like and do disobey the LAWS. Laws are for the lawbreaker those of us that STOP at stop signs and don’t exceed the speed limit are never stopped. Your name CONCERNED AMERICAN should be changed to Mr/Mrs AFRAID to admit who you are…. When I see Anonymous Folks posting I call them cowards. If you stand for the TRUTH why do you hide?
Pay your damn parking tickets on time lady.
She broke the law and got caught. He did the right thing. I am tired of so many people thinking they are entitled to do anything they want and not face the consequences.
They? Whom are you referring to?
You’re ignorant bro…and a troll.
“So many people”
Stop whining. she broke the law, didn’t pay her tickets, endangered others by speeding and didn’t have a valid driver’s license. Police did exactly what they are paid to do.
If I could be assured that all arrests would be so pleasant, I might consider a career as a professional criminal.
If I could be assured that all arrests would be so pleasant, I might considered a career in criminal mischief.