‘Driving While Black’ Billboard Warns of Racial Profiling in Livonia
A billboard has popped up on Telegraph just south of I-96 warning black drivers of racial profiling in Livonia.
The board that reads, "Driving while black? Racial profiling just ahead. Welcome to Livonia" was put up by Livonia Citizens Caring About Black Lives. They told WDIV that they raised the money needed for the billboard in just three days of online fundraising. The organizers claim that black drivers are targeted by police more often than white drivers, but the police disagree.
The Livonia police chief, Curtis Caid released a statement about the billboard.
Livonia police officers do not target their enforcement actions to individuals based on gender, race, religion, ethnicity, etc. Racial profiling is a serious allegation and is not tolerated. This billboard sends the exact opposite message of our values at the Livonia Police Department and of those in our community
The billboard buyers agree that it's not all about bad cops and good cops, but they are challenging the bad policies that are in place that they feel lead to the profiling.
The fight over the billboard is just getting started considering that it will be up for two more weeks. The Livonia police has not said that they would try to get the billboard removed yet, but I have to think that it's coming.
I don't drive through Livonia very much, so I can't speak personally about the truth of the billboard, but I can say that I love the effect it has had. The billboard is forcing the police, and city officials to have a discussion about a problem that might otherwise have never been addressed. The Livonia Citizens Caring About Black Lives have achieved the first part of their goal, now it's time to have some conversations with city officials that will lead to actual change.