A woman claims that she was harassed by police officers while walking in her neighborhood in Corinth, Texas because she was black.
Dorothy Bland, dean of the School of Journalism at the University of North Texas, wrote an article in the Dallas Morning News describing her encounter with the police officers.
In the article, Bland said she was on a routine Saturday morning walk in her neighborhood when she saw flashing lights and heard sirens from a police vehicle. She wrote, “knowing that the police officers are typically armed with guns and are a lot bigger than my 5 feet, 4 inches, I had no interest in my life’s story playing out like Trayvon Martin’s death.”
She continued with divisive statements like, “I guess I was simply a brown face in an affluent neighborhood.”
Bland said she stopped and asked the officers if there was a problem, but she didn’t get a “decent answer” before one of the officers asked her where she lived and if she had any identification.
According to Bland, she feared for her safety and posted pictures of the officers on Facebook in case anything happened to her.
After reading Bland’s article, Corinth Police Chief Debra Walthall issued a rebuttal and released the dash cam video from the stop.
In her statement, Walthall explained that Bland was impeding traffic while she was exercising, and a pickup truck that was behind her had to come to a complete stop to avoid hitting her. The officers that stopped Bland witnessed the truck almost hitting her, and pulled up behind her.
Walthall said the officers told Bland about the truck that was behind her, which she didn’t hear because she had her earphones on, and advised her that she would be safer walking against traffic because she will be able to jump out of the way of a car if necessary.
Walthall also said she was surprised by Bland’s comments because the interaction she had with the officers was very brief and cordial.
According to America’s Freedom Fighters, the tape backs up Walthall’s comments and shows a friendly exchange between Bland and the officers.
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