Paul Quinn College President Says Dallas Police Targeted Him for Driving While Black

Thumbnail image for sorrelliamnottrashprotest.jpg
Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell, left, at a 2011 protest against an ordinance that would direct more garbage to the McCommas Bluff Landfill.
On Tuesday afternoon, shortly after hearing journalist Laura Ling address the Dallas chapter of the National Council of Jewish Women in Far North Dallas, Paul Quinn College President Michael Sorrell was pulled over by Dallas police.

We know this because he Tweeted about it:

The #DWB hashtag is Twitter speak for "driving while black." Sorrell further describes the incident:

We called Sorrell on his cell phone Tuesday afternoon for more details about the stop, but the connection was garbled. We followed up with a text message but have yet to hear back.

As for the Dallas Police Department, Chief David Brown just so happened to brief City Council members on racial profiling statistics earlier this month.

The data, basically a breakdown of traffic stops based on the driver's race, show that black drivers are more likely to get pulled over (they accounted for 34 percent of traffic stops) than the city's racial composition (it's 25 percent African American, per the 2010 Census) would indicate.

Brown touted that data as proof that the department is complying with racial profiling laws, pointing to the dismissal of all 12 racial profiling complaints against DPD considered during 2012 as proof.

That doesn't mean it never happens, just that, short of a Rodney King-style dash-cam video, proving an officer performed a traffic stop because of race rather than an improper lane change is difficult.

Then again, Sorrell is a Duke-trained lawyer, as he didn't hesitate to proclaim.


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41 comments
SiaDolce
SiaDolce

An officer asks "Where are you going?", simply because if the person is trying to deter the question, or cannot answer without fishing, it would further imply their hiding something. If you have nothing to hide, saying your going to the store, work, school, errands, shouldn't be offensive; yet it's another way to break the ice for some one whom seems tense. When someone is hiding something or, tense they cannot answer a simple question.

As to "DWB", wtf? Racism only exists due to ignorant bigotry that still exists within our own race. You choose not to change, you'll no longer be ignorant, just  then choosing to become stupid. I'v been pulled over once-it was my fault for speeding,yes while driving a nice car yet I think it's b/c I was speeding.... but sure wasnt because of my race, it simply is how you carry yourself, and how you perceive others.

He is trying to gain attention, and keep it's because of who I am BS alive, get over yourself before you give others a bad name.

getsorrellaway
getsorrellaway

  • Michael clearly believes because HE wears a suit and drives a new vehicle (so glad he got rid of the waster bucket) he should not be stopped when he is breaking the law on his side of town. Michael has a history of not paying his tickets and/or keeping his registration current. Goodness he has a wife and his surprising close Chief of Staff why can't his business stay straight.  He find it ok to speak on the area he lives, when its convenient for him.  Most of the time he speaks badly about this neighborhood (OAKCLIFF) yes he lives in OAKCLIFF but in his mind he thinks he lives in the better area than most people.  He talks bad about the area schools and neighborhoods while on the campus of PQC and other public places. Amazingly, his area was ok to break the law on this day. Michael's arrogance wrote a check his @ss couldn't cash and this is why he is mad at the man whom wrote him a ticket and hauled his behind to jail!! Well he didn't speak about that at all on his twitter account.  Well you know the very last sentence can be verified very easily, this is public information and Google has been to be a mother%$^&!  See for yourself.
  • http://www.facebook.com/getsorrell.away



timdickey
timdickey

I think the point is that "Where are you going?" is NOT a question that follows from a simple out-of-date registration violation. What could that possibly have to do with the violation? I'd be sorely tempted to say, "Sorry I let the registration lapse, officer, that's going to be an expensive mistake I won't repeat, but where I'm going is, with all due respect, none of your business." 

Or maybe a less confrontational, "Why do you ask?"

   Lawyers, do we have to answer "where are you going?" questions from cops? Common sense makes me think that kind of impertinence (asserting our Constitutional rights) might seriously piss off an officer, but rights are rights, and need to be asserted.


ob1canob
ob1canob

Good God JS, is it a slow news day or what?  Sorrell should have current tags if he's going to speed, that's just asking for it.  Oh wait!!!  He's a perceived powerful AA political figure!!!!

Sorry sir.  Have a nice day!

Tom434
Tom434

I am very aware that the car I am driving today registration expires tomorrow

Daniel
Daniel

I'm white and have been pulled over for not having my seatbelt fastened. Also, for failing to signal when changing lanes. In Dallas. You know?


I want to like Michael Sorrell, but the guy is a joke.

StopIt
StopIt

Being black in a nice car in the middle of the day doesn't get you pulled over, expired tags does.  Officers are trained to look for infractions regardless of race and last time I checked, all vehicles are equipped with rear and side view mirrors.  Sounds like someone thinks he's above the law simply because he's black and also happens to be president of a black college otherwise this story wouldn't be news.  My son was pulled over for speeding but was written a ticket for expired tags, no ticket for speeding, but I guess there was no way they could let a black man in a nice car go with expired tags.  This Guy lol Really? lol

oakclifftownie
oakclifftownie

With the new parking enforcement/ revenue enhancement going on in Oak Cliff  its a good idea to have up to date tags and inspection if you park on the streets these days and even in your own driveway for that matter. Code enforcement has its own set of violations for being parked with out out of date stickers  in the  Driveway . Most of the time its just a notice to do something about it .


 


JSSS
JSSS

Was driving while white, registration up to date, very nice and pretty new car -- inspection sticker two months out of date.  Pulled over, given a ticket.  Guess I should have lodged a complaint with the DOJ.

Montemalone
Montemalone topcommenter

John Wiley will be making a statement shortly.


SICKOFDIS
SICKOFDIS

Mr. Sorrell obviously believes we are expected to not have up to date registrations etc because we live in a certain area?!?  I've been missing out or obviously live in the wrong part of town, because I was never informed that being black gives me a free pass to break the law in any capacity.  As president of what is suppose to become the next hbcu or ivy league of the South, what message are you sending our students?  That the police should give you a free pass because your a minority?  That if you live south of the trinity it's expected that you will not have up to date registration or inspection on your vehicle? GIVE ME A BREAK!

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

So some new to the beat cop does his job and it must be profiling.. guess this will teach him get back in line and close his eyes

russell.allison1
russell.allison1

I'm with lakewooder-what part of town do I need to live in not to get ticketed for little stuff like that.  Maybe this gentleman will text back the observer folks and let us know what the rules are for "...this part of town."  And, can I bitch about being pulled over in Richardson-maybe driving while white is the Richardson version of profiling?

pak152
pak152

are the windows on his car tinted?

ChrisYu
ChrisYu

i'd be more sympathetic toward Sorrell if he were a responsible citizen that kept his registration up to date. poor schlubs like me do.

cheeseburger
cheeseburger

Shouldn't that be #DWERT (Driving With Expired Registration Tags)?  They don't just pull you over and then find that.  They're look for expired tags and THEN pull you over.  Cops are actually pretty good at noticing that kind of thing.  It's happened to my lily white ass.  They (Dallas County Constables) were specifically looking for expired registrations that day.  I wasn't happy about paying the fine, but I didn't complain too much since, well, I deserved it for putting it off too long.

bubbabgood2u
bubbabgood2u

Who wants to bet with me,,,,this dude will complain to all his black buddies and city hall and this ticket will suddenly disappear.

Lakewooder
Lakewooder

He seems to imply police don't issue citations for minor traffic violations in "our part of town".

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@timdickey I have never been pulled over and NOT been asked the same or essentially the same question. It's a fishing tactic. Has nothing to do with race. Do you need to answer? No. 

StopIt
StopIt

@timdickey Where are you going is common question asked whenever you are on the freeway.  I have been pulled over (rightfully so) by State Troopers who have casually asked "Where you headed this afternoon?" On someone with something to hide would be offended by the question.

getsorrellaway
getsorrellaway

@StopIt Correct and he had been been current then he wouldn't have been pulled over. This dude thinks he is GOD!  

getsorrellaway
getsorrellaway

@JSSS Yep cause anything else is DWB.   Michael your mess has to stop soon, Dallas is tired of your crying like a lil baby. 

Tom434
Tom434

@Montemalone JWP isn't enough the Justice Brothers Jessie and Al are on their way now

getsorrellaway
getsorrellaway

@SICKOFDIS He only thinks that this should be a law that doesn't apply to him at this point in time, other wise he is talking down on OAKCLIFF. 

cantkeepthetruthdown
cantkeepthetruthdown

@cheeseburger Yup, I am white as snow and have been pulled over for expired inspection and registration. Most of the time I never even saw where the cop came from. 

timdickey
timdickey

@StopIt @timdickey The "only someone with something to hide would be offended" mentality unfairly puts a negative connotation on a person's simply asserting one's constitutional rights. History shows that people, regardless of race, need to be VERY careful in interactions with police, who are often under stresses we can't even begin to imagine. When pulled over, the less said to police, the better, in my opinion--even when one has "nothing to hide". And again, why would an officer possibly need to know where I'm going if my only offense is having an expired inspection sticker? Doesn't matter how common the question is.

getsorrellaway
getsorrellaway

@StopIt @timdickey He had something to hide.. registration outdated and warrants.. so there goes it!


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