Dorothy Bland was walking down the street in her own neighborhood when she was stopped by police officers, who asked for her name and ID. Bland says that she was caught “walking while black”, but the police chief disagrees.
During a morning walk in the rain, two officers stopped Bland because she was walking in the street and not on the sidewalk. They asked for her name and ID, though as Bland pointed out, “how many Americans typically carry I.D. with them on their morning walk?”
She told the officers that she liked to walk in the rain, to which one responded, “My dog doesn’t like to walk in the rain.”
Because Bland was, she said, “a brown face in an affluent neighborhood,” she took out her phone and snapped pictures of the encounter “for safety’s sake.” The officers told her to walk on the sidewalk or against the flow of traffic and left.
Afterward, she posted her story online, garnering much support for her experience with racial profiling. You can read the entire story in her words via DallasNews.com!!!
Since then, Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall has responded, saying that officers were only doing their jobs when they stopped Bland.
“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,” Walthall explained, emphasizing that the officers had contacted Bland but did not confront her.
“Please review the video and I’m sure you will agree the officers’ intent was simply to keep her safe. Ms. Bland never contacted the police department to voice her concerns regarding this encounter and has not returned my phone message left at the number provided by the mayor,” she said.