An American activist and writer/ blogger was stopped by police in Maryland and was asked for documentation of citizenship. Aravinda Pillalamarri  (a writer who has been published in the Economic and Political Weekly, The Hindu, India Together, The Alternative, Manushi, Himal South Asia, Teacher Plus, Z Magazine, and other publications)  was stopped by Bel Air, Maryland police who requested identification and proof of legal status.

“I didn’t expect this to happen in Bel Air. Walking while brown?” Aravinda Pillalamarri told CBS News.  

Pillalamarri says police demanded her ID after a resident called her in as suspicious.

“I had just come out for a walk, so I didn’t have my ID. And he said, ‘Why don’t you have ID? Are you here illegally?’”

Bel Air Police Chief Charles Moore:

“They were trying to figure out why there was some hesitation to provide identification, That’s why he asked if she was illegal. promises from President Trump have ramped up sensitivity on the issue of undocumented immigration.”

Chief Moore has only headed the department for a year, and says he plans a review of policy and procedures to insure discrimination does not occur, and Bel Air is also developing a citizen’s advisory board for community wide input on related issues.

“Social justice starts locally,” Pillalamari said, “and I’m really proud that Bel Air is rising to that challenge.”

Kenneth Lipp:

Chief Moore has only headed the department for a year, and says he plans a review of policy and procedures to insure discrimination does not occur, and Bel Air is also developing a citizen’s advisory board for community wide input on related issues.

Advertisements