A Black Woman’s Fear of the Police #SayHerName

Yesterday, I was stopped by the Montgomery County Police Department (MCPD) and I was petrified. 😳 Every since Sandra Bland was killed I’m afraid to be stopped by police for any reason.

I am a law abiding citizen. I didn’t knowingly violate any traffic laws. I quietly provided my license and registration frozen in fear. I felt some relief as I recently got a new license with my veteran status on the front. It seems to make officers less abrasive and more relaxed when I’m stopped. I didn’t ask any questions or make any sudden movements. I cut my music off, turned my inside light on, kept my hands visible on the steering wheel, and silently prayed.

The white female officer approached my vehicle and she was friendly. I have to give credit that MCP Chief Tom Manger and the MCPD are always very professional and follow protocol. Chief Manger often talks at community forums and I do feel safe knowing he is leading the police force. The Officer approached and asked the routine question “do you know why I stopped you?” Of course my answer was “no.” She told me my left headlight was out. 🤦🏾‍♀️

The Officer gave me a warning with a vehicle maintenance citation to get the headlight fixed within 30 days. This would be the second time I’ve been stopped due to lights. (Note to self: Turn my car on and do a walk around before I drive at night.)

The first time I was stopped it was right after Sandra Bland was killed you can imagine the fear I felt in my heart. My lights usually stay on automatically and I had recently maintanenced my vehicle. The mechanic switched my lights to manual versus automatic. I drove from the Metro parking lot which is fully lit and exited the parking garage. The cop stopped me literally as I exited the parking garage.

I was scared to death that night getting stopped by the police officer. I was in tears. I called a friend to put him on speaker phone to witness the stop just in case I was killed.

I hate that I am now afraid of police officers. Public servants meant to protect us. The fear is real. I’m scared that a simple traffic stop will lead to my death. It causes high anxiety. How do I get past these feelings? #sayhername #sandrabland

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