Meck County deputies no longer stopping drivers for minor traffic violations

MECKLENBURG COUNTY, N.C. — The Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office has announced that it will no longer be pulling over drivers for non-moving violations.

Deputies said they will not be stopping drivers for things like inspection violations, driving with a revoked license, having window tinting that’s too dark or having a tail light out.

The sheriff’s office said this change in policy is part of an effort to address racial inequality that they said is apparent in traffic stops.

Channel 9′s Glenn Counts spoke with a community activist who is applauding this decision. Robert Dawkins, with Action NC, said officers used minor violations to profile people of color. He also said the previous policy was a heavy financial blow for lower-income citizens.

“A person that didn’t have the money this month to go and get their tags now has a harder barrier to go and get their tag, because they either had to go get arrested, paid their fine, pay the court cost and then eventually get it done,” Dawkins told Counts.

Many police reformers said they also support the change because they feel agencies often use the current standard to unfairly target minority communities.

“I’ve been in a situation where I’ve been harassed like that by the police. I’ve been pulled over about dumb things,” motorist Markish Johnson said.

Dawkins said his organization has been pushing the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department to make this change for years. He said now that the sheriff’s office has made this move, he hopes the police department will follow suit.

The sheriff’s office said stops for serious moving violations that threaten others will still be made. And if you are stopped for something like speeding and they notice that your headlight is out, you can still be cited.

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