Thursday, November 13, 2008

U.S. rep: 'I hope this was not a case of racial profiling'
NOT GUILTY | Davis claimed last year he was given ticket for 'driving while black'

November 13, 2008

BY MARK J. KONKOL Staff Reporter/
Rep. Danny Davis was found not guilty Wednesday of "driving left of center" in Lawndale last November -- a ticket Davis had blamed on racial profiling.

The Traffic Court trial did little to shed light on what happened when Chicago Police curbed Davis' black sedan and ticketed him for an alleged lane violation. The Chicago Police officer who spoke to Davis during the traffic stop did not appear in court. That officer's partner, Police Officer Laura Kuhlmann, testified that Davis was driving a gray car on 16th Street and crossed the double yellow line when turning left onto Kedzie.

Cook County Judge Martin Coughlin kept discussion focused on Davis' alleged left turn crossing the center line and refused to hear testimony from Kuhlmann about a second time she claimed Davis' vehicle drifted over the double yellow lines. Davis remained silent.

Coughlin dismissed the charge, saying "of course" Davis crossed the double yellow line -- that's what happens when you make a left turn.

Last November, Davis made headlines for filing a complaint with police claiming the traffic stop was an example of racial profiling.

After court Wednesday, Davis said he hoped the white officers who ticketed him simply had made a mistake and that he wasn't stopped for "driving while black."

"I hope this was not a case of racial profiling," Davis said. "All I know is that I was driving a black car. The officer said I was driving a gray car. . . . The officer said I made a left turn off 16th Street onto Kedzie. And I've never been on 16th Street."

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