A taste of police scrutiny

PUTNEY — I think that those of us who are white and don't have friends or relations of other skin colors, have no idea what it's really like out there. I will explain with just one story of something that happened to me a few years back.

I was driving through Brattleboro in the evening with a dark-skinned male passenger in my car, when I was stopped by a police officer for a missing tail light.

After thanking the officer for pointing this out to me and promising that I would replace the bulb the very next day, he then asked me where we were going.

I was a bit taken back by this non sequitur. But at the same time, I had become aware of my friend's body language. He sat absolutely still, facing forward. Fear was in the air.

So I turned to face the officer, looked him in the eyes, smiled, and calmly but firmly replied, “Home.”

That was the end of it, and we were allowed to go; but we drove the rest of the trip back to my place in complete silence.

I can't imagine what it must be like to go through life with interactions like that one happening repeatedly to you and/or your friends and family.

It must get really, really...old.

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