The Constant Fear of Driving While Black

Law-abiding black and Hispanic drivers are often left frightened and humiliated after being stopped by police, who too often see them as criminals. Listen as individuals across the country share their stories.

Black motorists are pulled over by police at rates exceeding those for whites. It’s a flash point in the national debate over race, as many minorities see a troubling message: You don’t belong here.

An idyllic afternoon of Little League baseball followed by pizza and Italian ice turned harrowing when two police officers in Bridgeport, Connecticut, stopped Woodrow Vereen, Jr., for driving through a yellow light.

A music minister at his church, Vereen struggled to maintain eye contact with his young sons as one of the officers instructed Vereen, who is black, to get out of the car and lean over the trunk, and then patted him down. Vereen could see tears welling in the eyes of his seven- and three-year-old sons as they peered through the rear window. He cringed as folks at a nearby bus stop watched one of the officers look through his car.

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