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Old 07-02-2007, 08:24 PM   #1
Livinginthe past
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Default Panthers Lineman Arrested For 'Driving While Black'

Well, you'll find racist people in just about walk of life - it just so happens that the police have the authority to affect your life based on those prejudices.

I can imagine that the 'tint level' of the windows could be a pretext to search the car, but either its breaking the law or its not.

A simple test on the tinting would tells us if it was below the legal limit - and they don't want police officers to apply that law - then scrap it.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- Carolina Panthers reserve guard D'Anthony Batiste says his recent arrest on a weapons charge may have been racially motivated.

Batiste, a former deputy in Louisiana, was initially charged with carrying a concealed weapon after a search of his car during a traffic stop. Police had stopped Batiste's car, saying his window tint was too dark. On Friday, a Mecklenburg County judge threw out the charges, saying the arrest for a window tint violation was a pretext to search Batiste's car.

Batiste was fined $110 for failing to update his driver's license when he moved to North Carolina last fall.

"When the arrest happened, I called some of my supervisors back in Louisiana," Batiste told The (Rock Hill) Herald after leaving the courtroom Friday. "As soon as I'd explain it, all of them said 'D, something's not right about this.' We're all kind of under the impression I was arrested for driving while black."

Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department spokeswoman Julie Hill said that Batiste's arrest was not racially motivated. "He received no special treatment in that regard," she said.

Hill said the department has been cracking down on window tint violations because too dark windows block an officer's view of who is inside a car and can put the officer in a dangerous situation.

Batiste was arrested on March 25 when officer Bret Balamucki noticed the windows of Batiste's 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe were so dark "I couldn't see who was inside."

Balamucki said windows are supposed to have at least a 35 percent light transmission and Batiste's windows tested at 8.8 percent. Balamucki said he found the gun -- Batiste's service weapon from his days as a deputy with the Lafayette (La.) Parish Sheriff's Office -- during a search of the car.

Balamucki said Batiste was initially cooperative, but became frustrated and refused to answer questions.

Batiste said the arrest has shaken him.

"Right now, I don't know how I feel about the CMPD," Batiste said. "I feel bad, because this was an embarrassment to me, my family, my teammates and the whole organization, all because an officer was unwilling to show discretion."
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