Last month it was a different official lamely trying to throw her weight around. Remember Caren Turner and her 15 minutes of infamy? She's the now former Port Authority official who showed up to interfere in a traffic stop where her daughter was merely a passenger. She played the do-you-know-who-I-am card shamelessly, cursed at the police officers and threatened to call the mayor and their police chief. Except she was the one who was forced to resign as these officers were nothing but professional throughout her hostile attack. Funny thing, when at Port Authority she oversaw the ethics committee.

This month we have a new official trying to throw their weight around and adding a little racism into the mix. Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad was pulled over for doing 37 in a 25. The first words out of her mouth were to blatantly point out that she is a member of the school board. Before he even brings up speeding she admitted to doing it. Yet she clearly thought her role in the community should give her a pass and seemed agitated that he continued with the traffic stop and requested her credentials. Soon she was complaining that she was trying to get her daughter to school then begins a high pitched crying affect and proceeds to tell the white officer, "I'm scared of cops because you guys hurt black people." She carries on some more and at one point the officer asks if she needs an ambulance because she seems to be having a panic attack. She tells him he's insulted her.

By the end of the traffic stop she belligerently yells at him that she is going to call South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and village Police Chief Kyle Kroll, except she says it as she's going to "call Sheena...and your skinhead cop chief."

Skinhead.

You guys hurt black people.

This officer was the utmost professional at all times, just as was the case in last month's official versus law enforcement showdown. This woman owes a huge apology not only to the officer but to Police Chief Kyle Kroll and honestly the entire black community. A woman of color playing the race card in such a non-incident is disturbing and detracts from real incidents of racism. There is still racism in this country, but when true bigotry occurs how is America supposed to hear the genuine cries for help over the cacophonous chorus of false racial allegations?

Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad wasn't pulled over because she was black. She wasn't given a ticket because the white officer didn't appreciate the power she imagined she held as a school board member. She was ticketed because she was speeding and had an expired insurance card. She needs to put on her big girl pants and admit her behavior was disgusting and apology to all involved.

Or is that racist of me?

note: after the author wrote the opinion piece above, news came of Lawson-Muhammad issuing an apology in which she said, among other things, “When the police officer stopped me, I was upset, frustrated, and uncharacteristically out of sorts. And to my benefit, the officer did not react to my behavior. The officer kept an even tone in our interaction and performed his job well under the circumstances. I thank him for his patience."

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