I'm a Black man with a Ph.D. Yet, I'm afraid of the police - white, Latino, black, Asian - because I understand even the most routine encounter with them could result in my death. I tense up every time I see them sitting on the side of the road, mentally preparing myself to be stopped, rehearsing in my mind what to say when pulled over. I check my speed, check my lights, and hope that a taillight isn't broken. After I pass them, I check my rear view mirror to see if I'm being followed. The times I've been stopped have been more than annoying; I was terrified that something might go wrong and feel like I dodged a bullet when I've been able to drive away.
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