Louizandre Dauphin had a lot on his mind when he went to the waterfront on July 7 to read a book.
He sat in his car for about two hours reading “Mere Christianity” by C.S. Lewis. Dauphin also brought a book by theologian Timothy Keller to Stonehaven Wharf, a fishing spot frequented by tourists.
He was pulled over by Royal Canadian Mounted Police as he was driving home after they received calls about a “suspicious black man in a white car,” according to his Instagram post.
Dauphin noted that the officer was kind and respectful throughout the stop. After verifying Dauphin’s information, the officer sent him on his way, according to Dauphin’s post.
“There was no arrest and no charge in that incident,” Constable Derek Black, media relations officer for the RCMP in New Brunswick province, told The Washington Post. “We received a report of a suspicious vehicle. We stopped the vehicle, spoke with the driver and the report was unfounded.”
Since his post gained attention, Dauphin wanted to make sure that the point was not the interaction with officer, but that police were called in the first place.
“I do not know the true motivations behind the individual who called the police to report my presence at the Stonehaven Wharf, but I struggle to understand why my actions of driving my vehicle to a public space, reading a book, and never once exiting my vehicle was cause for a level of suspicion which prompted this individual to call the police. Be it my vehicle (a white Volkswagen Golf) or the colour of my skin, which I believe was a contributing factor, there was something that prompted an individual to consider my presence threatening enough to warrant attention by the police. If all are truly welcome at this location, why would a person acting in a non-threatening manner have the police called on them? And, after such an incident, why would this person feel any motivation or desire to return to that location? I never once identified this person who called the police as racist, but I do suspect there is some degree of bias, fear, and ignorance-based suspicion which lead to the reality that the police were alerted to my presence at the wharf.”
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