Imani Perry is a well-known professor of African-American studies at Princeton University. But that didn’t protect her from enduring what she’s recalling as a terrifying experience when she was arrested, patted down by a male officer and handcuffed to a table because of a three-year-old parking ticket.

According to The Washington Post, Perry was pulled over by Princeton police for driving 67 miles per hour on a street where the limit was 45. Once the officers looked up Perry’s information, the found a warrant for her arrest due to an unpaid parking ticket from three years before.

Perry sparked a debate on social media involving both sympathizers and those that felt she was in the wrong when she posted the following series of tweets recounting her experience:

To further address the situation, Perry elected to write a detailed post on Facebook rather than speak to the media. She took the opportunity to explain what took place during her arrest and defend herself against those that feel she was simply being dramatic or initiated the altercation through her own irresponsibility.

Perry finished off by thanking those that have sent her well wishes and explained why she believes her race played a role in being treated the way she was by the officers. The entire interaction, which was her first arrest, serves as a reminder that she should continue her fight against racism and carcerality.

However, if this wasn’t a result of her race and was standard protocol in regards to an unpaid parking ticket, is still reveals a different issue within police practices altogether that needs to be addressed.

“We’re having it investigated by our prosecutors’ office to be totally transparent and objective,”said Nicholas Sutter, the chief of the Princeton Police Department. “We’ll make any changes to our protocol if deemed necessary.”

He continued to say he understands the perception of the altercation and those similar to it regarding police and people of color.

“A police officer has an extremely difficult job in this atmosphere but that’s not necessarily a bad thing,” he continued. “It’s something we have to adapt to. We’re doing a lot of community outreach, and being extremely transparent. … We’re open to discussion and critique – it’s a healthy conversation.”

Perry is in no way trying to place her experience on a similar level as Sandra Bland, Rekia Boyd or Tanisha Anderson. She was fortunately able to walk away from her police interaction physically unscathed.

Photo Credit: Wiki Commons

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