This past weekend noted Princeton professor Dr. Imani Perry found herself in police custody for speeding and unpaid parking tickets. According to police, Perry was travelling 67 mph in a 45 mph zone. When she was pulled over, it was discovered that she had an outstanding warrant for unpaid traffic tickets from 2013 and that her driving privileges had been suspended. The responding officers then searched and handcuffed Perry and transported her to the police station. She later paid her outstanding fines and was released within a few hours.
Perry posted on social media sites that the incident left her humiliated and frightened. Perry claims that the officers arresting her were male and female White officers and it was the male officer who performed the body search. Because of what she felt was unfair treatment by police, she addressed these issues in a long posting this week stating in part:
“What they fail to understand is that I did not purport to be without fault. Now, make no mistake, I do not believe I did anything wrong. But even if I did, my position holds. The police treated me inappropriately and disproportionately. The fact of my blackness is not incidental to this matter.” Nia Perry-Facebook
But some have not taken kindly to her account and the amount of bad publicity she is bringing to the city Princeton, New Jersey. Perry recently posted “The Princeton police are releasing the video of my arrest and my home address is visible. Given the hostility online this puts me and my family at risk.” In addition she has stated that she was forced to deactivate her Twitter account after numerous attempts were made to reset her password by unknown parties. Dr. Perry’s colleagues in Princeton’s Department of African American Studies issued an open letter, which states in part:
“We, the faculty and staff of Princeton’s Department of African American Studies, write to express unequivocal support for our beloved colleague Professor Imani Perry. We were outraged to hear of her treatment at the hands of the Princeton police: that a male officer subjected her to a pat-down in the presence of a female officer and that she was handcuffed to a table after her arrest for an unpaid parking ticket.”