While passing through your city on Wednesday evening, I found myself, my daughter and granddaughter in what I strongly believe to be a case of racial profiling and harassment.

I am a 49-year-old black female and I pass through your city on numerous occasions on my way to Texas. McAlester has always been my place to pit-stop for food and gas. This particular evening, traveling north on U.S. Highway 69 while going home to Springfield, Mo., I was stopped and pulled over by a city police officer. I was not speeding or breaking any laws. He asked for my driver’s license and insurance, which were provided.

His excuse for this stop was “You were trailing too close to a semi.” I was not trailing too close to the semi. This officer checked my vehicle identification numbers on my car and asked “Where are you coming from and where are you going?” and “Do you have any outstanding tickets?”

He also checked my second insurance card which was for my Volvo that I was not driving at this particular time. His excuse for this was “I need to check to make sure you just didn’t change cards for another car.”

As stated earlier, I believe this was an act of harassment or racial profiling. There was a car directly following me and trailing my car too close, in my opinion, and that didn’t concern the officer. However that driver was white.

This concern will probably merit no action. However, I just want to be heard.

Melinda Farmer

Springfield, Mo.

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