A series of selfies posted by Chris Rock on Instagram after being pulled over by cops has led to a debate about racial profiling in the USA.
Rock started posting the selfies earlier in the year after noticing that he was being pulled over on a regular basis. Since then, three have been posted, one where he wasn’t even the driver of the car. In the latest, posted on March 31st, he adds the caption “Stopped by the cops again. Wish me luck”.
The posts have reignited debate in the USA over racial profiling. Some claim that black drivers, young, male ones in particular, are much more likely to be pulled over than white drivers, especially if they are driving an expensive car. Indeed, these claims are backed up by evidence. Justice Department statistics show that black drivers are 31% more likely to be pulled over than white drivers. This has led to the rise of the #drivingwhileblack hashtag online, which has allowed African American people to tell their own stories about racial profiling.
The debate comes at a time when relations between the black community and the police are tense. Late last year both Darren Wilson in Ferguson and Daniel Pantaleo in New York were acquitted following the death of two separate African American men. Both decisions led to widespread rioting in the black community.