To read the full article, click the link:
*Note – the video is also on this link.
This article, by the Associated Press, states that the Colorado Springs Police Department is now under investigation after a man recorded his traffic stop. Ryan Brown decided to film the encounter when he and his brother, Benjamin, were pulled over. The officers never told the two men why they had gotten pulled over, even though they were asked several times. Benjamin was placed in handcuffs, patted down, and placed in the cop car while another officer opened Ryan’s door and pulled him out of the vehicle. Benjamin could only watch while his brother was wrestled to the ground at gunpoint. According to American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado (ACLU) legal director, Mark Silverstein, the encounter appeared to be a case of racial profiling. He stated that he could not find a reason as to why the police were handcuffing and searching the Brown boys. In the officer’s report, it stated that the Brown’s were stopped because they were “driving slowly in a high crime area,” even though they were only four houses down from their house. Ryan Brown was ticketed for resisting arrest and interference with a public official, while Benjamin Brown was ticketed for compulsory insurance and obstruction of view.
Anyone who gets pulled over has the right to know why because in order to pull someone over the police must have probable cause. The Brown brothers appeared to have done nothing wrong, and in fact were right for continuously asking why they had gotten pulled over. The Associated Press did a good job in getting all the evidence regarding the stop, which involves the video, the Brown’s word, and the officer’s report, before jumping to conclusions.
After watching the video myself, I would have to agree with the ACLU director in saying that this encounter appears to be racial profiling. The fact that the officer’s claimed they pulled them over because they were driving slowly in a high crime area would be admissible until verifying where the Brown’s lived. The officer’s did not need to place the driver under arrest, nor did they need to pull the passenger out of the car and forcefully wrestle him to the ground.
In my opinion, the Colorado Springs Police Department should not allow these officers to remain on active duty while this situation is under investigation. The only way to try to stop racial profiling is to not tolerate it and punish those who engage in it.