- The Washington Times - Monday, December 14, 2015

Newly released dashcam footage appears to contradict a claim by a black North Carolina legislator after he accused state troopers of racism following a recent traffic stop.

State Rep. Cecil Brockman, a Democrat, was pulled over by troopers in Archdale on Nov. 30 for failing to wear his seat belt. WBTV, a local CBS News affiliate, obtained a copy of the dashcam video from the stop through a public records request.

The video shows Mr. Brockman driving for more than a minute before he pulled over for police. Because he took so long to pull over, Trooper JD Allred called for backup, WBTV reported.

Mr. Brockman is heard telling troopers that he didn’t immediately stop because he didn’t see the trooper’s flashing blue lights in his rearview mirror. He tells the troopers that he is a state representative and did not have his registration with him.

The video shows that the troopers weren’t sure how to run Mr. Brockman’s legislative license plate and used his vehicle identification number (VIN) instead. Mr. Brockman says the troopers were excessive and trying to confirm that he hadn’t stolen the car.

“I just think it’s amazing that you can really write a ticket to a state representative who was literally at the First Citizens Bank just to here and that you guys literally think that this is any type of — I don’t know what you guys think this is doing. This is very frustrating,” Mr. Brockman says in the video.

“I’m very pissed off,” Mr. Brockman says when asked if he has any other questions about the ticket. “I think if I was a white representative that you guys would’ve been like ‘OK, sorry sir.’”

“That has absolutely nothing to do with it,” a trooper responds.

“I think so. I think so. I do think so,” Mr. Brockman says.

“Well, I’m sorry that you feel that way,” the trooper responds.

“Why would I get a ticket for just a few seconds of forgetting my seat belt?” Mr. Brockman asks. “I would think you guys would be like ‘OK, well I’m sorry about that, sir. Being that who you are, I’m sorry you forgot that for just a few seconds.’ Like, that is ridiculous to me.”

The trooper responds by asking again if Mr. Brockman has any other questions about the ticket.

“Thank you for your service,” Mr. Brockman says.

“I appreciate it. Please buckle up and be careful,” the trooper says before Mr. Brockman drives away.

In an email to WBTV, Mr. Brockman admitted he made a mistake by not buckling up, but said authorities should have “automatically” known who he is by his House license plate. He also repeated his claim of racial bias by the troopers.

“While I know I made a mistake by not wearing my seat belt, I think my treatment during this stop was excessive,” he said. “I am uncertain why three state trooper cars were necessary for a very routine traffic stop and to hold me while I voluntarily offered my license and information. I referred to my position not to try to avoid a ticket, but to make my recognition easier due to my license plate and further let the troopers know who I am. Despite this, they remained suspicious of me, still not believing my identity. They then checked my VIN, for no other reasons than to make sure I had not stolen my own car. I do not expect special treatment as a state representative, however I do believe I deserve the same treatment as anybody else and I believe this stop was excessive.”

A spokesperson for the North Carolina Department of Public Safety, which oversees the Highway Patrol, said the video shows the troopers were professional.

“The video speaks for itself and shows that Highway Patrol troopers are professional and treat everyone with respect as they enforce the laws of North Carolina,” spokeswoman Pamela Walker told WBTV.

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