A state representative told North Carolina state troopers he should have not received a ticket for a seat belt violation.
Democratic State Rep. Cecil Brockman of North Carolina was pulled over on Nov. 30 by Trooper JD Allred in Archdale, North Carolina. Brockman claims he was mistreated by the officers, while the troopers say they handled the traffic stop professionally, reports The Washington Times.
Dashcam footage shows the interaction between the representative and the officers. According to WBTV, Brockman was driving for over a minute before pulling over. The representative stated that he did not see the trooper’s flashing blue lights, which is why he did not immediately stop for the police.
At the time of the incident, Brockman did not have his registration with him. The officers decided to run the car’s vehicle identification number as they weren't sure how to run the representative's legislative license plate.
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“Why would I get a ticket for just a few seconds of forgetting my seat belt?” Brockman asked the troopers, reports The Washington Times. “I would think you guys would be like ‘OK, well I’m sorry about that, sir. Being that who you are, I’m sorry you forgot that for just a few seconds.’ Like, that is ridiculous to me.”
Brockman told the officers that he doubted he would have received similar treatment if he were a white representative. The trooper stated that race did not play a role.
In a statement to WBTW, Brockman admitted he made a mistake, but that the officers should have known who he was by the license plate.
“While I know I made a mistake by not wearing my seat belt, I think my treatment during this stop was excessive … they remained suspicious of me ... They then checked my VIN, for no other reasons than to make sure I had not stolen my own car. I do not expect special treatment as a state representative, however I do believe I deserve the same treatment as anybody else and I believe this stop was excessive.”
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“The video speaks for itself and shows that Highway Patrol troopers are professional and treat everyone with respect as they enforce the laws of North Carolina,” said Pamela Walker, spokeswoman of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety.