UNDER THE WATCHFUL EYE OF THE PUBLIC: WILL CALIFORNIA LEARN FROM NEW YORK’S HEIGHTENED ACCESS TO POLICE PERSONNEL FILES?
By Amanda Kay Mannshahia1
No one in their right mind wants to be stopped by the police, but maybe Lamar Dotson dreaded the idea more so than others. On the cusp of thirty, he had worked most of his adult life as a bouncer and unarmed security officer. Soon things were about to change. A new opportunity to certify as an armed security officer would open up a world of employment opportunities and guarantee higher pay to allow him to support his family.
But when he was pulled over by the police after returning from work that night everything really changed. Guns drawn, officers ordered him out of the car and allegedly claimed they smelled marijuana in order to justify a search of his car. Although Lamar had never been in handcuffs before, he was about to be arrested for two baggies of marijuana and carrying a loaded firearm, one that he said he confiscated from someone at a club at which he worked. For Lamar, all of his hopes and dreams were about to go out the window.