by Carolyn Bick
Joseph Todd has been pulled over six times in as many months this year. Every time he’s pulled over, he says, the law enforcement officer inevitably asks the same question.
“He pulls me over, pulls me to the side, and the first thing out of his mouth is, ‘Is this your car?’ And my answer, once again [is], ‘Yeah, it is,’” Todd recalled, describing his most recent interaction with a state trooper.
Todd, a Black man, is the City of Tukwila’s Chief Information Officer, but he lives in Renton. Todd said he doesn’t speed, and he certainly wasn’t guilty of what the officer accused him of doing most recently: driving without a seat belt on.
“[After he pulled me over,] I took my seat belt off so I could reach over and get my registration and everything out of the glove compartment, and then he proceeds to tell me he saw my seat belt flapping in the wind,” Todd said. “In my car, if my seat belt isn’t on, it pulls itself back into the wall of the vehicle.”
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