The cop did a u-turn and covered a lot of ground to catch up with Ms Bland. From her point of view I think she did what most people would do if they saw a cop car charging up behind them. Just that aspect of the story looks suspiciously like a despicable tactic. Anyone who gets out of his way but fails to signal gets pulled over, either because he has a quota to fill, because he’s a loathsome bully who gets a kick out of antagonizing the powerless, or maybe a bit of both.
I keep reading comments saying she should have just complied; she should have just put out her smoke and she would have been on her way. I don’t think that would have made any difference. Refusing to put out her cigarette was not her “mistake”. Showing her irritation was where she went wrong. Answering his question about why she was irritated is what sealed her fate. Calling “bullshit” on his bullshit was not a sin he could overlook.
We always tell our children to obey a policeman’s commands and answer his questions truthfully because we assume he has a legitimate reason for asking those questions or issuing those commands. We always advise people to show similar compliance with muggers but for a different reason. If a man waves a knife in your face and asks for your wallet you don’t want to piss him off or he might fuck you up. We should not have to worry about pissing off a cop because he might fuck you up.