22-year-old Jawan Hawkins was wounded up with a bullet in his neck because he allegedly worse no seat belt.
When four plainclothes officers were monitoring traffic in late January, they say they saw 22-year-old Jawan Hawkins driving without a seat belt on. Moments later, Hawkins wound up with a bullet in his neck because he allegedly hit one of their car doors.
Court documents filed by police and obtained by the Baltimore Sun, say that the four officers were patrolling traffic in unmarked cars when Hawkins drove by in an SUV. When they tried to surround him with their vehicles, Hawkins drove in reverse and hit one of their doors. Two officers opened fire because the door hit one of the four, and a bullet pierced Hawkins’ neck.
After he spent a week in the hospital, Hawkins was thrown in jail on gun and traffic charges, without bail. No assault charges were filed against him.
Black drivers are targeted for traffic stops at a higher rate than their white counterparts. The Bureau of Justice Statistics has concluded that, nationally, black people a researched, arrested, and ticketed more, during those stops.
According to the ACLU, however, pulling over a motorist for a seat belt violation is often a cover for racial profiling. Differences in black and white drivers’ seat belt-wearing don’t explain why non-white drivers are cited or arrested far more often for not wearing their seat belts.
Recent studies have found that black motorists are three times more likely than white drivers to be arrested for seat belt violations in North Carolina and four times more likely to be ticketed for the offense in Florida.
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