Lynchburg, VA — In the land of the free, failing to realize your tail light has burned out can be a potentially deadly mistake. As the following incident proves, police officers can and will immediately resort to deadly force over a stop as simple as a tail light—especially if the vehicle with the broken tail light is full of young black men.
Earlier this month, four students who attend Virginia University and play on the football team, were on their way to practice when they were targeted for revenue collection, harassment, and extortion for having a broken tail light.
According to the students and several witnesses to the stop, one of the cops immediately pulled his gun and aimed it at the students.
For a broken tail light, all of the students were then forced from the car, placed in handcuffs and forced to sit on a nearby curb while multiple officers proceeded to violate their rights.
“It was kind alarming to watch, just to see that,” said VUL football coach, Bobby Rome, who coaches all the college kids in the video below.
“I seen the police officer approach. He asked everyone to put their hands on the dash and immediately he had his hand on his waist,” Rome said.
As the video shows, the officer admitted to pulling the gun. He then attempted to justify it by claiming he “smelled marijuana.” Those who read the Free Thought Project know that “smelling marijuana” is like a cheat code for cops that grants them immunity in any situation.
Time after time, TFTP has reported on countless incidents in which people were beaten, arrested, or killed because a cop “smelled marijuana.”
The officer said that smelling marijuana gave him the right to assault the innocent college kids with a deadly weapon and then cited some non-associated supreme court ruling about drugs and guns going together.
“The reason I reached for my gun is because I smelled marijuana,” the officer said. “The supreme court says guns and drugs go together.”
The officer was likely talking about the case of United States v. Johnson which has nothing at all to do with smelling weed or traffic stops for tail lights.
Proving the unnecessary nature of the gun and the “smell,” cops tore the students’ car apart, search all their possessions and clothing, and police found nothing.
“Those are my kids on the side walk,” Rome said. “They’re not criminals, gangsters, they’re not drug dealers. They’re not murderers. They’re here to get an education.”
A witness says the officers approached the car with his hand at his waist and later pulled his gun. The encounter was captured on video and posted to social media. This is a screen grab of the post. pic.twitter.com/tc9tnwWZRF
— Whitney Burney (@WhitneyOnAir) March 20, 2019
Proving what a stand-up but ‘woke’ individual he is, Rome noted that cops are human, but their mistakes and fear can be deadly to innocent people.
“Police officers are human also just like this young man on the sidewalk is human,” Rome said. “Things could go the opposite direction. Whether that’s him going to jail or being arrested, either one of things are detrimental to a young man.”
According to police—who have refused to release the names of the officers in the video below, they are now investigating the incident.
For those who think that getting killed over a broken tail light is some sort of stretch, consider the case of Philando Castile who was stopped with with his girlfriend and her small child for that very reason in 2016.
Just moments into the stop, St. Anthony police officer Jeronimo Yanez pulled his gun out and dumped multiple rounds into Castile, murdering him. In 2017, despite video evidence showing Castile was innocent and that the officer had no reason to shoot, Yanez was acquitted.