Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) revealed today that he’s been stopped seven times in the past year by law enforcement for “trivial” reasons in a highly personal speech focusing on experiences of black men and police stops.
“…Was I speeding sometimes? Sure.” Scott held up two fingers. “But the vast majority of time, I was pulled over for nothing more than driving a new car in the wrong neighborhood or some other reason just as trivial.”
One of the times, Scott added, he’d left the National Mall and was followed by a police car through four different left turns to reach his apartment. The officer pulled him over for allegedly not using his turn signal on the fourth turn. “Keep in mind, as you might imagine, I was paying very close attention to the law enforcement officer who followed me on four turns,” he said. “Do you really think that somehow I forgot to use my turn signal on that fourth turn?”
He added a story of his brother, pulled over because he was driving a Volvo and the officer thought it might be stolen, and the story of a young staffer who was pulled over in D.C. many times “for no reason other than he was driving a nice car — he sold that car and bought a more obscure form of transportation; he was tired of being targeted.”
Despite wearing his member of Congress pin — and having served in the House or Senate for five years at that point — Scott described an incident last year when he was trying to enter an office building and an officer “full of attitude” pointed at the senator and said, “‘The pin I know; you, I don’t. Show me your ID.'”
“I’ll tell you, I was thinking to myself, either he thinks I’m committing a crime impersonating a member of Congress, or — or what?”
Scott received a phone call and an apology that evening from the officer’s supervisor.