Racial profiling is a longstanding and deeply troubling national problem many innocent people have become subjected to. It’s when law enforcement and security target people of color in often humiliating, frightening, and inhumane circumstances without any evidence of crime. Not only is it severely damaging to its victims, alienating to communities, and inherently ineffective, it’s also patently illegal.

But despite all the claims that the US now lives in a “post-racial era,” the real-life stories from people of color tell a very different story. So when William Kimeria, a software engineer from San Francisco, asked “Black people, answer this with the most ridiculous reason you have been stopped by police,” on his Twitter, it immediately resonated with many people online.

William’s thread soon went viral, amassing 39.2k likes from people sharing all kinds of heartbreaking stories of being unrightfully disturbed by the police. “Mine is 'not waiting the requisite amount of time between indicating a lane change and changing lanes,'” said the thread’s author, and it became obvious this is just the tip of a giant racist iceberg that rots society from the inside out.

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exnav29 Report

SoozeeQ
Community Member
6 months ago

Gold! Go Granny!

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#2

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luvscure1 Report

Sheila McEnany Markowitz
Community Member
6 months ago

Go, Mom!

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#3

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FountainFay Report

Coleonema
Community Member
6 months ago

This... does put a smile on my face

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#4

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MeconiumHappens Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

Good for her!

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#5

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kristal100 Report

Sheila McEnany Markowitz
Community Member
6 months ago

Wtf is wrong with these cops?

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ChocnessMonsta Report

RaroaRaroa
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

For every one of these, there is also someone in the neighbourhood who called the cops for no reason other than "black person present".

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The software engineer also said that even knowing all that, he was genuinely shocked by some of the stories people posted. “There is also a lot of regional variation (I noticed that some of the most extreme incidents were in the midwest),” William added.

“I think this is a consequence of unaddressed structural racism and structures that are built upon that, as well as stereotypes about black people that justify whatever treatment is meted out to them. Police are a reflection of the society that they live in, along with all its biases and inequalities.”

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Lip_stickTomboy Report

Bobert Robertson
Community Member
6 months ago

My daughter in kindergarten drew up her own ID and gave herself an alias.... I don't think it would fly but it's the only ID she carries...

proud
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

i had a black friend over at my house and he was just looking at the pond and all of the sudden a police officer just pulled up on him and tryed to arrest him for having drugs and all he was doing was eating sour patch kids. i saw this whole thing its so stupid. so i went over and said "hey dude can i have some sour patch kids" and hes like "sure". and then i walked up to the police and said "here you want one, its watermelon flavored" he walked away.i dont even know if that was a police officer bc im pretty sure there a little smarter than that. oh yea it was the pond my grandpa owned btw and it was only a few blocks down

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DogMom
Community Member
6 months ago

The only ID I had at that age was my passport. Something I’m told a lot of Americans don’t possess.

birdie asf
Community Member
6 months ago

i can already see the "lots of americans have passports wtf do you mean" replies rolling in, so let me explain why DogMom is right. 42% of Americans (or roughly 140 million) have passports, while 58% of Americans (roughly 200 million) do not. that's a LOT of people.

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Laura Mende (Human)
Community Member
6 months ago

Children in the States DON'T get a ID? When do you get one? I got mine at (i don't know for certain) about 3 months old. Earliest we still have is my ID when I was 4yrs old. Please explain US custom to me.

Axle McDowal
Community Member
1 month ago

No doubt this was probably in America

Dale
Community Member
6 months ago

Well she shouldnt be driving when she's in 6th grade....

𝕁𝕖𝕟𝕟𝕪𝔹𝕖𝕖
Community Member
6 months ago

I've been asked for ID and I'm white and 6th. She might have looked older than she was and she might have looked suspicious.

Janina Krzyżak
Community Member
6 months ago

Wait, your children that go to schools don't have ID's? In my country it is a legal obligation for everyone that is above 6 years old to ALWAYS, EVERYWHERE carry their ID with them and show it to police officers if asked. For children it's mostly used in cases when child is walking alone (to check if they aren't in danger and why parents aren't with them) and they need to find your name, parents and address. I can't imagine how asking your teenage daughter to show her ID is racist. If that's the case, then there were some seriously racist police officers in my city! I'm white and I had to show my ID about five times a year when walking alone aged 6-18. It's completely normal. I don't know why in USA children don't have any ID or school ID, it's literally for their safety and kidnapping prevention

Shauna Voigt
Community Member
6 months ago

There was an actual study I read during graduate school that determined when individuals were show a two pictures, one of a white child and one of a black child, both of the same age, individuals in the study would automatically age the black child by 4+ years. After reading the findings of that study, stories like this punch me in the gut, because these are just innocent kids being forced to behave as little perfect adults to keep themselves safe.

debrina blackmoon
Community Member
6 months ago

WHY?!

Uchman
Community Member
6 months ago

This would piss me off so much.

Blitz
Community Member
6 months ago

someone called the cops for a 6th grader i bet

Requiem
Community Member
6 months ago

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Whiny Millenials dont go down voting the female f*****g cop giving you expert explanations to things. Your opinions dont count

proud
Community Member
6 months ago

and yours doesnt either requiem

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Kathy Long
Community Member
6 months ago

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As a police officer, let me explain why that likely happened. Before the AMBER alert law was passed, an officer actually assisted a motorist changing a tire unaware there was a kidnapped child in the car. The family was enraged understandably. When children are abducted they are put into a national data base. Officers come into contact with children SHOULD run their names to make sure they are safe. This has absolutely nothing to do with race, and I can see how this would seem insane to ask for a 6 year olds ID. The children could be missing from foster care, victims of human trafficking being prostituted, we don't know.

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edwinozoma Report

Alma Mater
Community Member
6 months ago

that doesn't even make sense !!! this makes me so mad

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Mack11Plays Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

WTF? He should be fired!

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William also thinks that there is also “an additional incentive in cities where a significant portion of the city funds come from traffic fines (this is what we saw in Ferguson, MO). In those areas, police are incentivized to target the people with the least amount of power and who are least likely to complain,” he explained.

When asked how could law enforcement earn back trust from society, William said he “doesn’t think people are going to trust law enforcement without some serious accountability as well as re-thinking what exactly the role of police is.”

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JermaineR_11 Report

Ian Koch
Community Member
6 months ago

wow, what a beatch,

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#11

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SowaTheArrogant Report

Amy Pattie
Community Member
6 months ago

That’s not ok, his son does not deserve that.

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dogonvillage Report

Alma Mater
Community Member
6 months ago (edited)

what ??? a black 18yo teen that is not already negatively known by the police is suspicious ??? how ? that shows exactly how they see black people !!!

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“On the accountability front, the one stop I mentioned is one of many that happened to me between the early '90s and the early 2000s in the Boston Metro area. I have only ever received one ticket (doing 42 MPH in a 35 MPH zone, and the cop lied),” the thread’s author recounted.

“In 2004, the Boston Globe and Northeastern University released a comprehensive study of racial profiling in traffic stops, with a metro area by area breakdown that pretty much validated what most black people knew.”

“For example, MA State Troopers at the time were found to have the least disparity in traffic stops between different demographic/age groups. Also, the standards to be an MA State Trooper are much higher (education, psych evaluations, etc.) That squares with my experience. At the time, State Troopers were considered tough but fair. There were huge disparities based on race between other metro area police forces.”

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audreyakwenye Report

Sheila McEnany Markowitz
Community Member
6 months ago

That just sickens me.

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bvquinn Report

Miriah Williams
Community Member
6 months ago

:(

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William explained that this “report landed like a bomb and triggered changes where police had to start recording demographic data of whom they stopped, and suddenly, like that, I stopped getting 'randomly' stopped.” He added that he didn’t have a single DWB stop between then, 2004 or so, and when he left the state in 2013.

However, William sees a looming complex problem still taking place nationwide, as “even in MA, some police departments pushed back against the report. Police departments have fought accountability at every level.”

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DrAubyn Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

Bloody hell! The nerve of the man!

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newtonsspawn Report

Coleonema
Community Member
6 months ago

No offense, but America has problems

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“Bad cops are protected, and when bad cops are fired or let go, it is very easy for them to find a job at another police department (this was the case with Timothy Loehmann, who murdered 12 year old Tamir Rice). Derek Chauvin (who murdered George Floyd) had a string of past incidents in his disciplinary record, one of which was eerily similar to the way he killed George Floyd.”

William concluded that “there are no comprehensive hiring standards for police officers at a state or federal level, it is city by city,” which makes it all the more problematic.

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BrianNeube Report

Amy Pattie
Community Member
6 months ago

Driving around in “the area” ??? What the hell?

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diversityhorror Report

Alma Mater
Community Member
6 months ago

there really is something wrong with american cops !!!

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But there is also the larger problem of heavy militarization of police. William sees that it has to do with “a mindset where police see themselves apart from society (in a lot of cases, police do not live in the same precincts that they are tasked with patrolling). The mindset issue can be seen in the fact that one of the most popular trainers of police (Dave Grossman) teaches a course touting 'Killology,' which is intended to lower police inhibitions to kill suspects.”

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MyDailyPosts Report

Angela Robinson
Community Member
6 months ago

She was pulled over for smiling, which, apparently is suspicious, while another poster was stopped for not smiling, also suspicious. Disgusting.

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giniponder Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

Ewwwwwwwwww! Scumbags!

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“When police are taught to see the people they police as an 'enemy' population (Killology is more appropriate as something taught to the military), bad things are going to happen, especially when that population does not look like them,” he explained and added that “American police kill a staggering amount of black people, but they also kill a staggering amount of white people too (larger in absolute numbers than the total amount of black people they kill, but once population size is accounted for, the rate at which they kill black people is higher).”

“Both those rates are much higher than all other developed nations in the world, and higher than a lot of developing countries,” William said.

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mama_mackey Report

Iggy
Community Member
6 months ago

What the...? Is there no minimum qualifications for these cops?

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goawayjanay Report

Alma Mater
Community Member
6 months ago

not sure i'll be able to read this full article. getting so mad !!! white man talking. i'm so sorry you all have to experience this. it's so wrong !!! totally sickening

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The American Psychological Association notes that research psychologists have studied the psychological effects of racial profiling and found that “victim effects” of racial profiling include post-traumatic stress disorder and other forms of stress-related disorders, perceptions of race-related threats, and failure to use available community resources.

According to criminologist Scott Wortley: “To argue that racial profiling is harmless, that it only hurts those who break the law, is to totally ignore the psychological and social damage that can result from always being considered one of the 'usual suspects.' Realizing the sheer level of humiliation it puts on the innocent citizens is a crucial step in erasing the practice of racial profiling, which has been continually ignored."

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SryGotPractice Report

Sheila McEnany Markowitz
Community Member
6 months ago

Yup, up to getting to work on time...a terrible crime. What is wrong with these idiots? How can so many be so ignorant?

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cburnsjr78 Report

Rue
Community Member
6 months ago

this is so sad, I'm so sorry all these racist cops were given jobs to begin with

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Meanwhile, Rachel Godsil, a director of research for the Perception Institute, says that racial profiling has a direct impact not only on its victims, but on the entire dynamics of the community. "Even if it happens to someone that doesn't look like you, it's a harm to the community," she said. These are especially true in countless calls about a "suspicious person" that in reality don’t involve any suspicious activity. Most often, it’s just a person of color walking down the street.

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jonathanbwilson Report

Ian Koch
Community Member
6 months ago

"We have out guns drawn due to your A G G R E S S I V E E Y E C O N T A C T

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See Also on Bored Panda
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MNTOY2006 Report

SoozeeQ
Community Member
6 months ago

“Merry Christmas to All, and to All a Good Night!” Seems those cops forgot the Reason for the Season: "Peace on earth, and Goodwill toward men". SMH.

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camille_bettina Report

BlackestDawn
Community Member
6 months ago

You "littered" by putting the appropriate item(s) into a recycling container?

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spladayum Report

Kookie
Community Member
6 months ago

Wow

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Lstorm_KILLABEE Report

WilvanderHeijden
Community Member
6 months ago

You better be careful with nervous cops. Before you know it they will execute you because "they were in fear of their on life". Valid excuse, dozens of cops have gotten away with it.

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northcyde Report

denzoren
Community Member
6 months ago

I once got robbed just outside the gate of my campus, reported it...had to wait about an hour with campus police until they told me they can't do anything since it's "outside of campus" and then went to the police where I was told, "why did you take so long to report it? We can't do anything now". Not once did anyone ask if we (my friend and I) were okay.

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