This is what happens when the police are so racist and out of control.
Excerpts from the Article:
In the months after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis, public defenders in Virginia saw an opportunity to overhaul policing in the state. Among their key priorities to address racial disparities: a ban on traffic stops for such infractions as broken taillights, tinted windows and the aroma of marijuana.
What happened next stunned police officials across Virginia. In just three months, the ban the public defenders pitched to Democratic legislators sailed to the governor’s desk and was signed into law. With Covid-19 shutting down the state Capitol and forcing the legislative sessions to take place via Zoom, the law enforcement officials who objected to the bill had failed to galvanize the opposition.
In March, Virginia became the first state to prohibit the kind of low-level traffic stops that disproportionately affect people of color and are often used as pretexts to search for drugs and weapons. An NBC News analysis of the early data shows that the measure is having an impact on the percentage of Black motorists searched by police during traffic stops.
“As public defenders, we aren’t exactly used to winning, let alone winning big,” said Brad Haywood, the chief public defender for Arlington County and executive director of Justice Forward, a criminal justice reform organization made up of public defenders across the state. “This will dramatically reduce race-based policing and impact so many lives.”
Long a cornerstone of American law enforcement, the traffic stop has emerged as a flashpoint in the debate over police reform.
Over the last 20 months, district attorneys in California and Minnesota have ordered prosecutors to drop cases in which officers found guns or drugs during traffic stops for minor infractions. Other states, including Washington and Massachusetts, are considering restrictions similar to Virginia’s.