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Traffic Stops – Black and White

Published: Feb. 10, 2023


Dear Friends,

It took me a long time as I agonized to finally compose this letter to the Loveland Reporter-Herald.  As a relative of Holocaust victims and survivors, I am only too aware of the consequences of allowing monstrosities to go unchecked.  My awareness of violations of our brothers and sisters of color and/or foreign origin goes back to lynchings and Emmet Till, whose violated body was finally extracted from a car sunk in the Tallahatchee River (unsure of the spelling).

I have worked and mourned for the Democracy we brag about but have denied to millions in our country, including the first indigenous people, who settled the “Americas” since over 20,000 years ago.

From: Bob and Deb Stucklen
Sent: Saturday, February 4, 2023 7:32 AM
To: '[email protected]
Subject: Traffic Stops when you're black

Dear Editor:

As a driver during 63 years, I have been stopped rarely for minor traffic or tail light violations.  After showing my license, my errors were politely explained along with advice on how to improve my driving.  Sometimes I had forgotten my driver’s license and had to go to traffic court.  I have paid my fines, and after age 50, taken excellent senior driver education classes to make me a safer driver.

I wish this good treatment would be extended to all drivers regardless of race, color, sexuality, age, ethnicity, physical handicaps or English speaking ability.

I am forever outraged and saddened by the treatment of Tyre Nichols, a black Fed Ex driver, loving father of a four-year-old son and member of a close knit family.  In addition, I have seen videos of his amazing ability at skate boarding acrobatics.

The various tv news stations showed audio videos of the stop by 5 elite Scorpian police officers, to whom he showed his driver’s license and asked, “What did I do”.  Rather than answer that reasonable question, they cursed him, yanked open the door of his vehicle, roughly forced him to the ground, handcuffed him behind his back and proceeded to repeatedly tear gas, beat, punch, and kick him as he cried out for his “Mom”.  When he managed briefly to run away, they quickly caught up with him and beat him unconscious.  Ambulance personnel waited a long time to take him to the hospital, where he died 3 days later.

I have viewed this horror over and over, unable to make any sense out of it.  The black community, joined by diverse concerned citizens demonstrated against this monstrous miscarriage of justice, as they have for so many decades for so many of our brothers and sisters of color, whose legacies will be forever carried on.

This is not the America I pray I can someday believe in.

Deborah Stucklen

from Deborah Stucklen, Fort Collins Friends Meeting (2/4/2023)