After all the debate and, uh, brew-ha-ha, over the arrest of Harvard University professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr., I’m not sure there is a whole lot left to say. However, one notable East Bay political leader asserts in a February 2007 interview that what is better known as racial profiling has been known to occur out here.
Q: I’ve heard stories about police in the San Ramon Valley randomly pulling over African American drivers. Has that happened to you?
A: Several times. Once, we were coming from a dance at the Diablo Country Club. This was in the late ’80s. I was with my wife and one of my colleagues and his wife. After the dance, I decided to show them downtown Danville. It was 1 or 1:30 in the morning. I noticed a police car following me. … Just before we got to the Livery, we were pulled over. He said I was speeding. I said, “No, I wasn’t speeding.” And then he said, “Where were you people coming from?” “What do you mean, ‘you people?’ ” Here I was in my tux, and he was asking me, “Do you own this car?”
Q: Were you arrested?
A: There was nothing to cite me for. I was stopped and harassed. I think [the officer] was taken aback that I was angry. I spoke to the [city manager] and police chief there, and sensitivity training was given to the police in Danville.
Q: Do these things still happen?
A: It hasn’t happened to me in the last 10 years. But I’m constantly hearing from friends in the area, who are not as visible as me, who are being pulled over.