Nick Cannon Takes to Twitter to Blast LAPD’s Widespread Racial Profiling

The comedian says he's been stopped by cops since he was a kid riding on his bicycle. But the problem is systemic, and there's little federal action to keep track of it.

By Jorge Rivas Nov 18, 2011

Nick Cannon, who’s married to Mariah Carey and hosts "America’s Got Talent", says cops have pulled him over at least once a week because he’s a black man in a nice car.

"Just got pulled over again. For the 1st time ever … The Cop let me go! He was a black man! ‘Preciate it Brotha!!," Cannon tweeted on Wednesday after being stopped by cops as he was driving home from a Google Music Launch party at Mr. Brainwash Studio in Los Angeles.

"Now in LA I get pulled over like once a week. Honestly, I think it’s because I’m a Black man in a nice car. #KnowyourplaceBOY. (sic)"

The 31-year-old star started his career on Nickleodeon’s sketch comedy show "All That" when he was 18. And according to him, police have been stopping him since.

"Growing up, I never liked Cops. Always felt they were bullies. I guess I shouldn’t stereotype … At age 13 a Cop pulled me over on my bike with his gun drawn. What the hell did he think I was going to do?! (sic)"

An LAPD study conducted by the ACLU and Yale Law School found that for every 10,000 residents, blacks were nearly three times more likely to be stopped than whites and other so-called "non-minority" residents. In total, black residents faced 3,400 more stops. Latinos were stopped on 350 more occasions.

Not only were blacks and Latinos more likely to be stopped than whites, they also faced increased odds of being ordered out of their car, frisked, searched and arrested. Black residents were 29 percent more likely than whites to be arrested, and Latinos were 32 percent more likely to be arrested, the report found.

The report also found that whites who were searched were more likely than blacks and Latinos to be carrying guns and contraband:

Although there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence of widespread racial profiling, there’s no federal mandate to require departments to keep updated stats. Back in 1997 Representative John Conyers of Michigan introduced H.R. 118, the Traffic Stops Statistics Act, which would require the Department of Justice to collect and analyze data on all traffic stops around the country. The data would’ve included the race of the driver, whether a search took place, and the legal justification for the search. The bill passed unanimously with, bi-partisan support, but it was killed shortly after the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) announced its opposition to the bill. As a result, there is no national data on traffic stops that include race.