expired licence

Police officer accused of racial profiling after pulling over driver for expired licence plates

A video of a police officer pulling over a driver for having expired licence plates on his rental car that ended up not being expired at all has garnered a lot of attention on social media.

In the video, the cop explains to the driver that the plates are expired and that the responsibility for having up-to-date plates is on the driver, despite the vehicle being a rental. 

"You call Enterprise, that's not my car," the driver said.

As the officer continues to insist the plates are expired and that the onus is on the driver — not the rental company. The driver then decides to come out of the car to see for himself.

This is when he notices the completely valid dates on the licence plates and deems the incident racial profiling. 

"Oh that's my mistake," the officer can be heard saying.

This prompted the driver to ask if he was pulled over because he is Black.

"I didn't see who was driving the car, I looked at the plates," the cop responds, adding that he ran the plates through the system. 

This, of course, prompted a ton of backlash on social media from those who say that the cop should have noticed the valid dates on the licence plates if he truly did run them through the system. 

"The police officer insisted he ran the plates and argued with the driver, threatening to give him a ticket. I empathize with this driver, because this type of thing happens often. Profiling has detrimental impacts on the mental health of Black people," someone else wrote.

Others pointed out that this could have been an honest mistake by the police officer. 

In response to the video, the official Ottawa Police twitter account said that after reviewing the incident, both parties appeared respectful. 

In another tweet, the police added that "during the interaction, the officer realized he made a mistake - he owned it and fully apologized for it.@OttawaPolice is very aware of the legitimate concerns raised by community members about racial profiling."

The video was shared by Justice for Abdirahman, a group dedicated to challenging racial inequity, named for Abdirahman Abdi, a Somali-Canadian man who died in 2016 after a violent altercation with Ottawa police officers. 

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