Virginia decided to go a step further than the rest of America’s progressive jurisdictions in their quest to decimate their police force. They just bowed down to liberal demands and handcuffed their cops. Common traffic violations which often lead to major felony busts have just been downgraded to secondary offenses so the cops can’t pull you over for things like burned out brake lights. “Too many Black people are going to jail,” liberals cry.
Virginia doesn’t like criminals being arrested
Police in the state of Virginia can no longer pull you over in traffic on a “pretext” violation like a broken tail light, as an excuse to stick their nose in your window and sniff. The proposal has made it through their legislature and is expected to be promptly signed by left-leaning Governor Ralph Northam. It’s common practice for officers to use minor violations, like spotting a vehicle with the license plate light out pulling out of a suspected drug distribution operation. Stops like that often produce major amounts of contraband and wanted criminals.
When you put the liberal logic behind the Virginia rule change under the microscope, it turns out that the real reason they want to cripple the cops is because they worry about the possibility of a criminal actually being arrested. State lawmakers have decided to take one of the most effective tools away from their police which will, as Law Enforcement Times points out, kill “a lot of proactive policing that keeps communities safe.” Why? “Because the idiot lawmakers in the state feel that police are using it in some manner to attack black people.” Apparently, most criminals happen to be Black, so that has to be the fault of the police.
State Senators Patrick Hope and Louise Lucas teamed up to sponsor the bill. “A disproportionate number of people pulled over for minor traffic offenses tend to be people of color,” Hope relates. “this is a contributor to the higher incarceration rate among minorities.” Most people would dig into that claim a little deeper but the liberal fact checkers stay strangely silent. Liberal Virginia lawmakers don’t care if the facts support that argument or not. They passed the law anyway.
Is justice blind or not?
To analyze the effect of pretextual stops on race relations, all you need to do is look at the collection of everybody who was stopped, no matter what color skin they have, and match it up to see how many of the ones stopped actually committed a crime resulting in a jail sentence. If the percentage of White people who go to jail out of all the White people stopped is the same as the percentage for Blacks or Asians or Native Americans, then the system is colorblind and works just fine. Virginia apparently didn’t check, so you can bet it matches up pretty close.
Instead, the lawmakers, who also hate Second Amendment loving patriots, only speak of “incarceration rates.” Too many Black people are in jail so Virginia must do something to prevent arresting so many criminals. From now on you can feel free to roll through the Old Dominion with super dark tint, loud or broken exhaust, non-functioning brake and tail lights, a forest of air freshener trees hanging from your mirror to obscure your view, and a less than 4 months expired state inspection sticker. Just make sure to use your turn signal. If police pull you over on a valid charge, you get written up for all the rest as well.
Now that marijuana is become legal in more places, another aspect of the new Virginia law is already less effective than it would have been only a year ago. The new law prohibits officers from “searching a vehicle when they smell, based on training and experience, the odor of marijuana coming from within the vehicle or person.” They used to be allowed to bust you if first they ask if you have a card. If you say no, you go to jail. Do not pass go. Republicans are, of course, resisting the changes. Roanoke County Police Chief Howard Hall argues, “Does anybody really think that it’s appropriate or safe for a vehicle on Interstate 95 to be traveling without taillights at 11 at night? Does anybody not think that law enforcement should deal with that situation?”