Pubdate: Thu, 26 May 2005
Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Copyright: 2005 The Commercial Appeal
Author: Marcus Robinson
Bookmark: (Cocaine)


I remember the good and bad growing up in South Memphis, but I mostly 
remember being stereotyped by the police departments of Memphis and 
surrounding areas. I remember being pulled over and never being asked for 
permission to search my vehicle, and watching it ransacked by individuals 
who had sworn to uphold the law. Ninety-nine percent of the time the stops 
weren't justified (I sped sometimes).

People who have been the victim of so-called police saturation and 
harassment, racially motivated or not, have to ask this whether the officer 
in the Eric Berrios case studied psychology. Police have stopped me few 
times in my older years, and every time have asked to search my vehicle. 
Why, because I seem nervous? When I was younger, I was never asked 
permission for a search; now that I am older, I tend to refuse because I 
learned at an early age what stereotyping was. When I refuse, police 
suggest I have something to hide.

Could Berrios have been nervous about his insurance going up because of the 
ticket? Perhaps his wife was pregnant with triplets again. The fact is, 
more than $1 million worth of cocaine was taken off the street. The next 
time Berrios is caught, it will be a righteous stop.

Don't be mad at Judge Paula Skahan. I know that if some of your 
conservative readers had children arrested and charged with the same crime, 
their reaction would be to call high-priced lawyers and get their children 
off on the same technicality, as Berrios did. If anyone or anything is to 
blame, it's the entire legal system.

Marcus Robinson

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