Recently, Taraji Henson, a well-known actress, accused the Glendale, California police of racial profiling after an officer pulled her son over and questioned him. In a magazine interview, Henson stated:
My child has been racially profiled. He was in Glendale, California and did exactly everything the cops told him to do, including letting them illegally search his car. It was bogus because they didn’t give him the ticket for what he was pulled over for.
Henson tweeted to the same effect during #BlackLivesMatter protests:
Racial profiling is VERY REAL!!! It has happened to me but to my son more and he is only 20!!! Something needs to be done. #SERIOUSLY
I worked my butt off 2 break a cycle. Get my son out of the hood. Thinking his privileged lifestyle would protect him from profiling. #WRONG
Henson went so far as to say she was enrolling her son in the historically-black Howard University rather than the University of Southern California because of the incident.
As Chuck Ross reports, however, the video of the incident in question exploding Henson’s oh-so convenient narrative.
It’s true, as Henson said, that the police didn’t give her son a ticket for the offense for which he was pulled over — driving through a lighted crosswalk while a pedestrian was crossing the street. But the officer declined to ticket the young man as a favor, as Henson now acknowledges.
Add another example to the “no good deed goes unpunished” file.
Here, according to Ross, is what the video showed:
After the officer told [Henson’s son] why he was stopped, [he] admitted he had some marijuana in his backpack and a Ritalin pill that was not prescribed to him. He said that he had a license for medical marijuana but that he could not find it. He also said he had smoked marijuana two hours earlier.
“I appreciate you being honest with me about the weed. I do appreciate that because I do smell weed,” the cop said. “So thank you for being honest about that.”
“I do appreciate your cooperation on that, I really do.”
Other officers showed up and searched Johnson’s car for the Ritalin but did not find it. They also found a knife during the search but determined that it was legal. Johnson was also given a field sobriety test, which he passed.
The officer appeared to deal with Johnson in a professional manner. He even helped Johnson out by not citing him for the traffic infraction or for having recently smoked marijuana. Instead, the officer wrote him an order to appear in court to produce the medical marijuana license.
“I’m not going to give you a citation for running that yellow because that would actually put a moving violation on your driving license, and you are going to have to go to traffic school and all that stuff, so I am helping you by not giving you a violation on it,” the officer told Johnson. “All I am going to do is take the weed from you.”
After viewing the video, Henson apologized to the Glendale police and thanked the officer for his kindness towards her son. Maybe now she will let him attend USC, though one hopes she imposes some penalty on him for apparently lying to her about the incident and making her look like an idiot.
But how many police officers face bogus allegations of racism — sometimes, as in Darren Wilson’s case, with devastating impact on their career — due to efforts by wrongdoers to deflect blame through bogus racism allegations, and the eagerness of fools and ideologues to assume the truth of such allegations?