SOUTH ORANGE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — For the second time in less than a month, a public official was caught on video making controversial comments to a police officer during a routine traffic stop in New Jersey.
This time, it happened in South Orange.
Normally you’d get a knot in your stomach if you see a cop car pull up behind you, but what Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad did has some calling for her resignation from the South Orange-Maplewood School Board.
The exchange was caught on video.
Lawson-Muhammad: I’m on the school board… I didn’t realize I was speeding.
Officer: You’re doing 37 in a 25.
Lawson-Muhammad: And I’m scared of cops because you guys hurt black people.
The South Orange police officer then asks if she wants him to call an ambulance, saying she looks like she might be having a panic attack.
Lawson-Muhammad: That was a (expletive) insult.
The officer gave the school board member a summons for speeding and not having a valid insurance card, which means she has to go to court. The tirade continued.
Lawson-Muhammad: Now you want me to go to court? I don’t want to go to court! I have insurance! Then I’ll call Sheena.
Officer: That’s fine, and you’re more than welcome to do that.
Lawson-Muhammad: And your skinhead cop chief, too.
The encounter has the Black Parents Workshop calling for her resignation. Most people who spoke with CBS2 say they were appalled by the words of a community leader with children in the district.
“I don’t think anybody should call anybody any kind of name,” South Orange resident Christine Rivera said. “Basically it’s racist.”
“It’s wrong, but maybe she has her reasons for why she said that,” another person said.
CBS2 went to Lawson-Muhammad’s house and called her to get her side of the story, but she hung up.
The incident comes weeks after a Port Authority commissioner was caught on camera behaving badly during a traffic stop in Tenafly. Caren Turner was forced to resign.
No word yet on what the future holds for Lawson-Muhammad after the testy exchange. The school board didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.