Lynx think Seimone Augustus' traffic stop was Cambodian-on-black racial profiling

Categories: Racism, Sports
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On the Lynx's theory, Kevin Love could drive through Roseville with impunity, dangling air freshener or no.
Earlier this week, we told you about Lynx star Seimone Augustus' Twitter tirade after she was pulled over in Roseville for having an air freshener dangling from her rear-view mirror.

SEE ALSO: Seimone Augustus blasts Roseville PD after air freshener traffic stop

Augustus alleged officer Won Chau acted inappropriately by threatening to write her a ticket if she reported the pull-over to Roseville PD authorities, but stopped short of claiming she was a victim of racial profiling. But Lynx coach Cheryl Reeve explicitly characterized the traffic stop as "racial profiling" while discussing the incident with reporters yesterday.

From the Star Tribune:
Reeve said the off-day incident was not a distraction to the team. Instead, what happened was something Augustus had to take a stand against.

"It is not a distraction at all," Reeve said. "Twitter gives people a voice. [Augustus has 25,000 followers.] And, in this particular instance, I am 100 percent behind Seimone tweeting her experience because it shines light on a bigger problem. Which is racial profiling.

"The situation that occurred, how Seimone felt, it happens on a daily basis. So from that standpoint, I think [Seimone's tweeting] was great."
So in other words, Reeve and Augustus believe a presumably Chinese Cambodian police officer pulled over a black woman because of her skin color? Sure, it's possible officer Chau (or the Roseville PD more broadly) has something against black people, though to casually toss out a racially profiling allegation in that instance seems pretty presumptuous.

And after all, it really is illegal to have an object dangling from your rear-view mirror. So this seems like a situation where it might be more appropriate to hate the proverbial game instead of the player.

CORRECTION: The Strib reports this morning that officer Chau is Cambodian.

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88 comments
Andy Stealth Trattar
Andy Stealth Trattar

Going off of what Jordan said, I've been pulled over in Texas so many times while visiting family... They follow you for miles, then you touch one of the lines, or turn on your signal too late for their liking while changing lanes, and they pull you over. Guy from Minnesota down in Texas...he's probably smuggling drugs! They always want to search my car too. Everybody gets profiled at some point. I honestly don't see why she is getting so worked up over NOT getting a ticket though... If it was racial profiling, wouldn't they have done something to her? I obviously wasn't there, so I can't say what actually happened...but who gets pissed off about a warning? I've been accused by a cop of stealing a car that I owned (that's the abridged version of the story)...and I didn't go ranting and raving all over the internet about it...

Brent Benjamin Bunn
Brent Benjamin Bunn

Do we know if this police officer was born in Asia or North America? Personally I'm so over only white people can be Americans mentality.

Jordan Hanson
Jordan Hanson

Chinese on black racism... not asian on black racism... not even.. more like minority with out of state plates profiling. happens a lot... Happened to me down in Alabama, with MN plates, A LOT...

laxx1559
laxx1559

Did everyone just skip over the whole threat the officer made towards her?

David Bruning
David Bruning

I like how when people make statements about a certain "race" maybe committing more crimes (due to certain socioeconomic reasons but committing a crime is committing a crime) and get labeled as a racist...I also like when people spew out "facts" that there favorite non peer reviewed media source and then never back it up with the actual link to the report, article, numbers being reviewed...wheres the concern for same race crimes?

plattMSP
plattMSP

@dbrauer What do they mean Cambodian? Don't you have to be citizen to serve on police? That makes him American.

Cindy Pederson
Cindy Pederson

Is she still riding the Impala with the icey rims? Might have something to do with it. Just sayin.

Lauren Clauer
Lauren Clauer

I wish people would stop acting like racism doesn't exist. Many people have no clue what it's like to be followed by police, pulled over for bogus reasons and statistics prove when Hispanics and African Americans are stopped they are far more likely to be threatened, arrested, and searched.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Bob: Blog owner Aaron Rupar replied to my 9:18 am comment on the blog, you can go read it.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

@Nicholas Goers... actually, when you look at statistics you find your assertion false.

Gretchen E. P. Halverson
Gretchen E. P. Halverson

@Nicholas Goers: Why would dark skin color make a human being any more likely to break the law than someone with light skin color? Your "logic" is sorely lacking, sir.

Dwade
Dwade

@dbrauer Man, the presumably Chinese line is so...jarring in a story about race. I mean, it's generally jarring, more so in this context

Nicholas S. Goers
Nicholas S. Goers

^ maybe because they're the ones most likely to do something that breaks a law!

jdavidsavor
jdavidsavor

@citypages "presumably Chinese police officer" get the facts straight!

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

I'm really disappointed that City Pages would run this article WITHOUT looking up Minnesota's incarceration rates by race. Blacks are more than NINE TIMES more likely to be incarcerated than whites. NINE. That process has to start somewhere, and racial profiling in traffic stops is inarguably part of that process. You shouldn't be focusing on the officer being of Chinese ethnicity, City Pages should be challenging the system that results in more than one black male in ten spending time in prison in America.

A1batross
A1batross

I'm really disappointed that City Pages would run this article WITHOUT looking up Minnesota's incarceration rates by race. Blacks are more than NINE TIMES more likely to be incarcerated than whites. NINE. That process has to start somewhere, and racial profiling in traffic stops is inarguably part of that process.  You shouldn't be focusing on the officer being of Chinese ethnicity, City Pages should be challenging the system that results in more than one black male in ten spending time in prison in America.

jdavidsavor
jdavidsavor

@citypages what does "presumably Chinese police officer" mean? Augustus and Reeve need to get back in the kitchen

panndder
panndder

@dbrauer It's okay, @citypages categorized it under racism.

Gerri Lynch Slocum
Gerri Lynch Slocum

I have a ton of crap hanging from my rearview mirror ( a wicked witch mini doll, a gods eye, and an air freshner) i honestly didnt know it was illegal but i have been in roseville and many other suburbs with my (bends head in shame) minivan and have never been pulled over once.

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

Also... "Chinese-on-black racial profiling" why the qualifier?!

startseeingtheatre
startseeingtheatre

... um... yeah, duh!  How many white people have been pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from their rear view mirror?!

Reier Erickson
Reier Erickson

... um... yeah, duh! How many white people have been pulled over for having an air freshener hanging from their rear view mirror?!

Gal Shpantzer
Gal Shpantzer

Bob Alberti your expertise in infosec and macro sociology never fails to amaze.

A1batross
A1batross

Of course it was. Look at incarceration rates by race in this country and tell me that the police aren't engaging in racial discrimination. It's ridiculous.

Minnesota incarceration rates by race, 2005, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics 'Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005' report:White: 212 per 100,000Black: 1937 per 100,000Racial profiling? You bet your ass. And it's not "Chinese on Black," it's "Cop on Black," period.

MikeW
MikeW

Yes, it really is illegal to have something dangling from your rear view mirror.  However, when is the last time any of us got pulled over for that?  Let's hear from your readers if this has been the case.

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Minnesota incarceration rates by race, 2005, from the Bureau of Justice Statistics 'Prison and Jail Inmates at Midyear 2005' report: White: 212 per 100,000 Black: 1937 per 100,000 Racial profiling? You bet your ass. And it's not "Chinese on Black," it's "Cop on Black," period.

Mark Jackson
Mark Jackson

The greatest philosopher of the 20th century (Rodney King) said it best after receiving a savage beating... "Can't we all just get along"?

Spencer
Spencer

So SHE claims in a Twitter rant.  Funny though, she never mentioned this "threat" again--even after she spoke to the police chief.  Probably because she knows it never happened and said it just to get public support once it was pointed out to her that there was a dash cam and audio recording.  She should have been given a citation and needs to grow up and take responsibility.  She broke the law.  Doesn't matter if it was an air freshener or a handicap parking permit  They can't be hanging while the car is moving.  Hell, a cop friend told me once ticketed a nun for the same offense because she had rosary beads hanging from her mirror.  I wonder if she complained about religious profiling.

atrupar
atrupar moderator

 @A1batross Fair observation and duly noted. I just think it's important for folks to be careful before alleging racial profiling. By all accounts there's nothing in officer Chau's record to suggest he discriminates against blacks. Of course, profiling happens all the time, so I agree with coach Reeve's point. However, I've been pulled over for some B.S. more than once too, and as a white male, those instances certainly weren't racial profiling. But systemic discrimination is obviously a big problem in our country and I'm not trying to turn a blind eye to that.

shelbycobra
shelbycobra

Well, I'm white and I did and also got a ticket for having a clear cover over my lic plate, which is also not legal apparently. This was in Brooklyn Center. IMHO, these stops have NOTHING to do with fines. I suspect why a lot of these stops are made are so police can get to the window of your car and then look in and smell for something bigger like maybe guns, drugs, arrest warrants, etc. Nobody waves drugs or guns out the window like a nut, so this is probably the only way they can aggressively enforce these types of laws. I don't have a problem with it provided stops are legal and rights aren't violated. I'm sorry, but I want active cops in my community keeping it safe, not lazy ones. I've received warnings b4 for traffic stuff and knew I didn't have anything big to worry about because I wasn't drunk or high and there were no drugs or handguns in my car. Years ago, a state patrol officer told me when I got stopped as a youngster that one of the biggest factors that determines if you will/will not get a ticket is not your race, it's your attitude. It's common sense, think about. If you're honest about what you did, admit fault, and are not a jerk I think you are more inclined to catch a break.

 

 

chandrascoob1
chandrascoob1

 @startseeingtheatre I was pulled over for a crystal hanging from my mirror within the first month I lived in the cities. I also had an out of state license and plates. Oh and I am a white female....  My sister (who works in a bar and is typically heading home after bar close) has also been pulled over twice after work for having something hanging from her mirrors. This is a basic reason to pull anyone over and tally up the potential tickets/fines for the city.

JonnyBeGoode
JonnyBeGoode

 @A1batross - What has race have to do with incarceration rates?  Do certain races really create more crime than others? Or is it that a certain group of people create more crime?  I hate to jump to assuming racial profiling.  If there was a guy dressed as a gang banger and one dressed in something less notorious - which one is going to get stopped?  If you dress like someone going to commit a crime as to someone who is dressed to go to the office, who is more likely going to get stopped?  I think race has by far less to do with it that attitudes to urban trends.

startseeingtheatre
startseeingtheatre

 @atrupar  @A1batross Your assertion that there's nothing in his record to suggest he discriminates is not a basis for any kind of argument... you also forget that the officer was intent on questioning her about her out of state license and license plate... it comes across as a pretty clear case of racial profiling... doncha think?!

A1batross
A1batross

 @JonnyBeGoode You are confusing cause and effect and conflating race and dress. The RESULTS of the systemic racism in our prison industry are inarguable - blacks are incarcerated at appalling rates. The causes are up for speculation. But to achieve these appalling outcomes by race, the whole system must be designed to intake people at higher rates by race - if the prison industry took in people at race-proportionate rates there simply would not be enough black inmates to achieve the results we are seeing.

Spencer
Spencer

 @startseeingtheatre  @atrupar  @A1batross

 Wow, startseeingtheatre.  You are incredibly stupid.  Not everything is due to racist cops.  Next time you are in your car, try to figure out the race of the person driving in front of you.  Then do the same thing at night.  Also, know what the laws are before always assuming something is racially motivated.  It's reckless, dangerous, and divides us further.  It just so happens it's illegal to have non-Minnesota plates or a non-Minnesota driver's license if you've been living here for 60-days.  You tell me, Clarence Darrow, how are the police supposed to enforce this law unless they ask the driver about their plates, driver's license, and residency?  If the cop was truly a racist as you suggest, why didn't he arrest her on a BS charge or plant something on her.  She drove away without even a ticket.

startseeingtheatre
startseeingtheatre

 @atrupar  @A1batross An allegation is just that though, a claim made with minimal proof.  You then investigate the allegation.  Cops "allege" things everytime they pull someone over.  Is it the word you're getting hung up on?  Maybe instead of "alleging" she should have "hinted" or "suggested"?  What term should we use to desribe her belief she was a victim of racial profiling?

Also, if we are not sure what occured why is it your contention that her making an allegation is somehow unfair?  

atrupar
atrupar moderator

 @startseeingtheatre  @A1batross There's no way to know for sure with the information that's available, I don't think. And that's my point -- it's a serious allegation, and especially given the fact that Augustus was breaking the law (as ridiculous as that law may be), I'd like to see more evidence before profiling allegations are made. That said, if it's true (as Augustus claims) that Chau threatened her with a ticket *only after* she said she'd report the incident to his superiors, then that's certainly unprofessional behavior on his part.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@A1batross : yaawwnn... you make me tired with your tired comebacks. Are you actually michelle bachman under a different handle? Your personal racist quotient is much greater than mine as I support a level playing field.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@keny1 : in fairness, your party does too.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@A1batross : yaawwnn... you make me tired with your tired comebacks. Are you actually michelle bachman under a different handle? Your personal racist quotient is much greater than mine as I support a level playing field.

keny1
keny1

 @mingtran  What he and his party does is called "cherry-picking".  

 

A1batross
A1batross

 @mingtran  You haven't offered any "numbers," or any facts to back up your comments - you're just blathering tired old racist talking points and insults. Go away troll.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@A1batross : I know you know how to research numbers, your prior posts on this thread reveal that. It's funny, though, that you only believe in numbers when they work for you, not against you. Quit being a stupid little weiner and research the disparity between white/black social program consumption. Nearly every black household in America gets a handout from the fruits of other's labors...but that's okay with you because your party thinks it is too. Smart.

A1batross
A1batross

 @mingtran  Yeah, that's it, social programs. Which of course only serve blacks. Cause if you're white you can't get on them. Or something. Look, are you even TRYING? Criminy.

mingtran
mingtran topcommenter

@A1batross : by continuous support and expansion of social programs, a majority of blacks have nowhere to turn beside crime as all upward mobility is taken away after system dependence indoctrination. If you are unhappy about the racial disparity in incarceration rates, do something with your vote instead of following the trendy.

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