Most of us will never know what racial profiling looks and feels like, but Univision/ABC just released a video from a hidden camera that captures the Glendale, Arizona police stopping a Latino man for no offense whatsoever.
Univision set up an experiment to capture racial profiling on film by first talking to members of a Latino community group in Phoenix. An overwhelming number of individuals had been personally affected by racial profiling. They gave reporter, Andrea Sambuccetti, a list of things that attract officers’ attention to Latinos, almost guaranteeing a traffic stop:
- Playing music in Spanish
- Having tinted windows
- Hanging ornaments from the rear view mirror
- Displaying a sticker from a Mexican radio station
The reporter and her crew prepared a red car with these items, plus a big dent in the side to make it look battered, and convinced producer Alberto to drive it on the streets of Glendale, Arizona (Maricopa County). Alberto wore clean but casual clothes, didn’t shave—and expressed the fear that he would be arrested. One camera was in Alberto’s car and one was with the news crew in an SUV that trailed him.
It took less than a minute for Alberto to catch the attention of a Glendale cop, who promptly followed him. The SUV was behind the police car, recording the stop, which happened almost immediately. As the officer talked to Alberto, the reporter walked up and politely confronted him, saying they recorded everything and couldn’t see a reason that Alberto was stopped. The officer claimed the driver was “impeding traffic”—on a four lane highway, mind you—because two cars went around him in the brief moments that the officer was tailing him.
With his papers in order, Alberto was released by the police, but watch the video (below) for yourself and imagine what it would be like to live in fear of such encounters every single time you got behind the wheel of your car.