Another N.J. public official goes off on a cop at traffic stop, calls chief a 'skinhead'
By Olivia Rizzo NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
Updated 7:35 PM; Posted 5:55 PM
A South Orange-Maplewood School Board Member was caught on camera using foul language and apparently calling a police chief a "skinhead" after being pulled over for speeding last month -- the second recent incident in which a public official was recorded mouthing off to a cop.
In the dash cam video, obtained from police by NJ Advance Media, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad can be heard using profanity and complaining when issued tickets by a South Orange police officer.
During the traffic stop, a hysterical Lawson-Muhammad threatens to "call Sheena...and your skinhead cop chief, too," apparently referencing South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and village Police Chief Kyle Kroll.
Earlier in the video, the board member can also be heard telling the officer, "I'm scared of cops because you guys hurt black people." Lawson-Muhammad, who cannot be seen on the video, only heard, is black.
In the video of the April 27 incident, Lawson-Muhammad was pulled over at just before 8 a.m. on Walton Avenue near the border of South Orange and Maplewood. She is heard telling the officer, "My name is Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, I'm on the school board, I'm a community member of this town and I am sorry if I was speeding. I didn't realize I was speeding."
In the video, the officer tells Lawson-Muhammad she was driving 37 MPH in a 25 MPH zone.
The board member can be heard crying throughout most of the video. At one point, the officer asks her if she needs an ambulance because she appears to be having a "panic attack." She responds that she does not, and says, "that's an insult."
When the officer tells her that she is getting summonses for speeding and for not having a valid insurance card, Lawson-Muhammad starts to argue, saying, "for me to have to go to court, for me to have to go to court, now you want me to go to court? I don't want to go to court. I have insurance."
The board member threatens to call the high-ranking town officials after the officer says he cannot void a ticket that has already been written. Reached Wednesday, Kroll declined to comment on the incident. Collum did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.
Lawson-Muhammad and Maplewood South Orange School Board spokesperson Suzanne Turner did not respond to requests for comment.
Walter Fields, Chairman of local advocacy group the Black Parents Workshop, which is suing the school district on an unrelated matter, issued a statement Wednesday condemning the board member.
"Ms. Lawson-Muhammad must issue a public apology to this officer. Given the lengths to which efforts are underway nationwide and locally to address the real issue of police brutality against African Americans, it is appalling that this Board Member would conduct herself in this way," he said in the statement. The group called for her resignation from the board.
"The officer should be commended for his professionalism, demeanor and the respect he showed a citizen who immediately tried to use her position to intimidate him."
The incident comes less than a month after Port Authority Commissioner Caren Turner resigned in the wake of a dash cam video that showed her cursing at cops and apparently trying to use her position to stop them from impounding a car her daughter was in.
Olivia Rizzo may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on Twitter @LivRizz. Find NJ.com on Facebook.
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It's not that she doesn't have her DL, it's just that she doesn't see her DL. Ha ha.
Cop: Mam, do you want me to call your an ambulance?
Twatwaffle: (If she had said "Yes").
Cop: OK, you're an ambulance.
When a thing is funny, search it carefully for a hidden truth. - George Bernard Shaw
In S Orange her constituents will re-elect her. She'll claim to be a "Fighter" for the people...
This town borders, Beautiful Newark!
Her crocodile tears dried up quickly when the officer offered to get her medical help. Then the skinhead comment? A phony and a racist too.
Racist? Well, not a surprise here, being married to the great-grandson of the founder of the Nation of Islam, Elijah Muhammad.
I guess these leftist DOLTS can't watch one video of one of their leftist butthole buddies railing against the police, see what a losing endeavor it is, and then put 2 and 2 together for themselves.
"If you’re a leader, you lead the way. Not just on the easy ones; you take the tough ones too…” – MAJ Richard D. Winters (1918-2011), E Company, 2nd Battalion, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne
"Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil... Therefore, as tongues of fire lick up straw and as dry grass sinks down in the flames, so their roots will decay and their flowers blow away like dust; for they have rejected the law of the Lord Almighty and spurned the word of the Holy One of Israel." - Isaiah 5:20,24
Let's all meet her, shall we.
I'm loving her "Resist" button.
“Elections have consequences, and at the end of the day, I won.”
– Barack Hussein Obama, January 23, 2009
Calling him a skinhead is like calling her a junglebunny. I suppose we won't see a significant collective outrage for her racist comment.
You’re a lying dog-faced pony soldier
I’m not surprised at all. Typical racist with a sense of entitlement. Thanks obama and all the other race hustlers.
NJ School Board Member Apologizes For Traffic Stop Rant (VIDEO)
A South Orange-Maplewood BOE member said she was "scared of cops" because they "hurt black people" and called the police chief a "skinhead."
By Eric Kiefer, Patch Staff | May 17, 2018 12:50 pm ET | Updated May 17, 2018 1:17 pm ET
NJ School Board Member Apologizes For Traffic Stop Rant (VIDEO)
ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — A member of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education has offered an apology after having an emotional meltdown during a traffic stop for alleged speeding last month. During the incident, which was captured on video, Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad calls the local police chief a "skinhead" and apparently attempts to use her position on the board as leverage to get out of a ticket.
On Thursday, Lawson-Muhammad issued a public apology for her behavior during the April 27 traffic stop in South Orange. (Watch the full video below)
See related article: NJ School Board Member Allegedly Calls Cop 'Skinhead' (VIDEO)
"First and foremost, I want to sincerely apologize for my uncharacteristic behavior displayed in the police video on April 27," she stated. "I had an irrational response to being stopped for a traffic violation. I allowed my emotions to overwhelm me that morning, and I fell short of the standards to which I hold myself."
"Like many parents, I was trying to get my children to their schools on time. When the police officer stopped me, I was upset, frustrated, and uncharacteristically out of sorts. And to my benefit, the officer did not react to my behavior. The officer kept an even tone in our interaction and performed his job well under the circumstances. I thank him for his patience."
Lawson-Muhammad said that she personally apologized to South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll, who she said is "passionate about our community."
"[Kroll] is not the person I made him out to be," Lawson-Muhammad said. "He sincerely accepted my apology and agrees that we will work together to help heal our community. We have begun plans to work with community stakeholders to build stronger bonds and greater trust for the entire community."
During an earlier campaign for the school board, Lawson-Muhammad said that her mother and paternal grandfather served as principals, and her own volunteer work over several years in Atlanta, Chicago and in Essex County focused on tutoring and leading enrichment programs. She also previously worked as a senior technology manager in the wireless industry.
Lawson-Muhammad's term on the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education began in 2017 and ends in 2019.
See related article: A Letter to the Editor From BOE Candidate Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad
Elizabeth Baker, president of the South Orange-Maplewood Board of Education, offered a statement on Thursday about the traffic stop and resulting "legal and ethical obligations."
According to Baker:
"I understand that Ms. Lawson-Muhammad and Chief Kroll have met and that Ms. Lawson-Muhammad has both personally and publicly apologized to Chief Kroll. I want to thank Chief Kroll for his willingness to meet with Ms. Lawson-Muhammad and accept her apology. This meeting reflects the beginning of a difficult, restorative dialogue. Such a dialogue takes personal courage and a shared commitment to our community."
"Since I was made aware by the South Orange Village Administrator of the traffic stop incident involving my fellow board member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, I have acted in consultation with the school district's counsel to ensure adherence to all legal and ethical obligations. I also encouraged Ms. Lawson-Muhammad to personally apologize to Chief Kroll and engage in a dialogue that would repair the harms that her statements caused... I ask the members of our towns to support Chief Kroll and Ms. Lawson-Muhammad in this process."
Don't forget to visit the Patch Maplewood Facebook page here.
Don't forget to visit the Patch South Orange Facebook page here.
The SOMA Black Parents Workshop, which released the traffic stop video earlier this week, called for Lawson-Muhammad to resign from her position on the board in the wake of the incident.
The group also commended the South Orange officer in the video for his "professionalism and demeanor."
"This organization… is working diligently to repair the relationship between law enforcement and the African-American community," President Walter Fields stated Wednesday. "If the situation was reversed, and an officer behaved in this manner toward an African-American civilian, we would have taken the officer and the department to task. We can be no less outraged under the present circumstances."
According to the video's timestamp, the incident took place around 8 a.m. on April 27. In the video, a driver who identifies herself as Lawson-Muhammad is pulled over for allegedly traveling 37 mph in a 25-mph zone.
The driver mentions that she is a member of the local board of education. She then tells the officer that she is "scared of cops because you guys hurt black people."
When issued two summonses for speeding and failure to have a valid insurance card, the driver begins to protest and say she can't attend court. She then mentions that she will call South Orange Village President Sheena Collum and "your skinhead cop chief, too."
Should read, "After 20 days and being outed publicly with video evidence, I have been forced to accept my abhorrent behavior"
Place your clothes and weapons where you can find them in the dark.
“If in winning a race, you lose the respect of your fellow competitors, then you have won nothing” - Paul Elvstrom "The Great Dane" 1928 - 2016
|Delusions of Adequacy|
Wow, you're on the school board. That and a buck will get you a coffee at McDonalds.
I have my own style of humor. I call it Snarkasm.
Doubt it was the first time and probably not the last.
Since when does being a school board turd mean anything?
Crying and generally freaking out like that over a speeding ticket?
... stirred anti-clockwise.
The clinical term is emotionally labile, just the kind of person I want on my School Board.
Another self entitled angry, militant, New Jersey "wipe", that thinks they are somebody. What is amazing is that when these fools are wrong, they still want to throw their weight around, insult, curse, intimidate and belittle. A typical democrat tactic when they don't get their way. I'm sure if Ms Muhammad would have simply introduced herself as a board school member, and asked if the officer could extend any courtesy, she probably would have been on her way with a warning.
But these people just have to be right, run their mouth, and make a statement....
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