The dashcam arrest video showing police arrest a Princeton University professor this weekend paints a markedly different picture than the racist ordeal described by the professor, Imani Perry, in a 1,201-word Facebook rant.
Perry, a professor in Princeton’s African American studies department, also tweeted angrily about her arrest, but she appears to have since deleted her entire Twitter account.
A pair of Princeton, N.J. police officers busted Perry on Saturday morning for going 67 miles per hour in a zone where the posted speed limit is 45 miles per hour.
The officers then proceeded to arrest Perry because of a warrant for an outstanding parking ticket from three years ago. She still owed $130 for that infraction.
Police did not allow Perry to make any telephone calls before she was officially placed under arrest, she complained. The professor said she was rudely subjected to a brief frisking by a male police officer as well.
“This was my first time in handcuffs,” Perry wrote on Facebook. “They were very cold on my arthritic wrists. I have been thinking about how vulnerable they make you feel.”
Perry also righteously threw down the race card.
“Now, make no mistake, I do not believe I did anything wrong,” she wrote. “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.”
However, video of Perry’s arrest shows two of the nicest-appearing police officers you’d ever hope to meet straining to be diplomatic and generally participating in what may be the most cordial police interaction ever.
“Are you okay?” the male cop asks Perry at one point during the video, when she is in the police car.
“No,” a female voice – apparently Perry’s – responds.
“Are you hyperventilating?” the cop then asks.
The male officer then explains that everything will be easy and expedient “as long as you’ve got the money.”
In addition to the Princeton traffic troubles which led to her brief arrest, Perry also has an active Abington Township, Pa. traffic case in which she drove an unregistered automobile, according to Planet Princeton.
The Princeton professor also has an outstanding summons for failing to pay a parking ticket in Lower Merion, N.J.
In a second clip, which shows an earlier stage of Perry’s traffic stop, she tells a skeptical officer that she never received any sort of notice that she had a parking violation or a suspended license.
And here is Perry speeding down a narrow, tree-lined road, getting caught on radar and then getting initially busted.
In her Facebook rant, Perry cites institutionalized racism “from elementary school suspensions, to car purchases, to teachers recommending students for gifted and talented programs, to how often waiters visit your table in restaurants, to mortgages, to police stops and arrests.”
Perry, the parking ticket recipient who says she was ultimately able to pay her fine “without hesitation” to secure her release, also compares her fate to “poor Black, Indigenous, and Latino communities” which “experience disproportionate police surveillance, harassment, violence, and punishment.”
“I can say that what I experienced was far more likely because my skin is a deep brown, my nose is round, and my hair is coily,” Perry also claims.
The trio of YouTube clips were posted Thursday afternoon by Krystal Knapp, a reporter for Planet Princeton.