Police Video Released After Woman Claims She Was Stopped For Being Black
Video footage was released showing a black woman being stopped by police as she exercised in her community.
On October 28, Dorothy Bland, the University of North Texas' Dean of Journalism, wrote a column in The Dallas Morning News about an encounter she had with two white police officers four days prior.
She said she was taking her morning walk on a street near her Corinth, Texas home when she saw the lights of a police car flashing behind her.
Bland then stopped and walked over to the two officers to ask what the problem was.
I don't remember getting a decent answer before one of the officers asked me where I lived and for identification.
Bland didn't have ID on her, so she supplied her date of birth and address before taking a picture of the two officers.
Bland said one of them told her she was risking her safety by walking on the right side of the street where she was unable to see cars approaching from behind.
But the professor believed she was stopped because of her skin color. She concluded,
I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood.
Dash cam video featuring Bland's conversation with the officers was released by the Corinth Police Department.
The footage shows the two officers telling Bland a pickup truck was nearly forced to stop in the middle of the road because she was blocking its way.
On November 2, Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall wrote a response to Bland's column in The Dallas Morning News, saying her officers were "very cordial" in their conversation with Bland.
She said the officers asked for Bland's ID because impeding traffic is a Class C misdemeanor, and it is police policy to request identification whenever this violation is committed.
I am surprised by her comments as this was not a confrontational encounter but a display of professionalism and genuine concern for her safety… The citizens of Corinth as a whole are a highly educated population, and it is disappointing that one of our residents would attempt to make this a racial issue when clearly it is not.
Walthall added she left a phone message for Bland that has yet to be returned.