Imani Perry, a Princeton University professor of African American studies, reportedly cried foul after police officers in her town arrested her last Saturday over an outstanding parking ticket from three years ago.
According to The Daily Princetonian, Perry wrote a 1,201-word diatribe on Facebook insisting that she as a member of “an affluent suburb” should basically have received special treatment — and that she was instead mistreated because of her skin color.
“(I)f it is the standard protocol in an affluent suburb to disallow a member of the community to make a call before an arrest (simply to inform someone of her arrest) and if it is the protocol to have male officers to pat down the bodies of women, and if it is the norm to handcuff someone to a table for failing to pay a parking ticket, we have a serious problem with policing in the society,” she argued.
Perry also stubbornly maintained her innocence, complaining about her treatment in a series of tweets on an account that appears to since have been deleted. However, nothing can ever really be deleted from the Internet, as Professor Perry has probably learned by now. Here are just some of her tweets, courtesy of NJ.com:
“Now, make no mistake, I do not believe I did anything wrong,” she wrote. “But even if I did, my position holds. The police treated me inappropriately and disproportionately. The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter.”
She added, “I can say that what I experienced was far more likely because my skin is a deep brown, my nose is round, and my hair is coily.”
The Princeton officers arrested her because of an outstanding warrant. Perry never paid off a $130 fine after her license was suspended in 2013. This caused a warrant to be issued in her name, and when the authorities finally came face-to-face with her last Saturday, they performed their job and arrested her.
This had nothing to do with skin color. It had to do with her breaking the law — over a considerable period of time — and the police taking appropriate action to enforce the law and protect themselves while doing it.