Driving while black: Rapper stopped by Zwolle police for pricey car
Update 9:00 a.m.: Statement from police district chief Arjan Mengerink added at the bottom
Two Zwolle police officers will be reprimanded for pulling rapper Typhoon over on Monday based on his skin color and the fact that he was driving an expensive car. Typhoon writes about the incident on his Instagram, saying that he was pulled over not because of a traffic violation, but because his "profile" did not correspond to his new car.
"Read: suspicious that a man with my color is driving such a car", Typhoon writes. "The investigating officer (friendly guy) admitted that he was biased. He took into account that it could be drug money."
A spokesperson for the police confirmed Typhoon's story to NU.nl. "Two officers pulled him over based on unusual possession. When the officers saw that it was the rapper they chatted with him." During the chat Typhoon asked why he was pulled over and one officer acknowledged that his skin color stood out against the expensive car. That should not be allowed, the spokesperson for the police said. The officers will be reprimanded and this incident will be used as a lesson to prevent similar incidents in future.
Typhoon writes that this is not the first time something like this happened to him. He adds that he at least is "famous" and easy to recognize, but many do not have that advantage. "Before I could get angry about it. Now I just assume that I'll be arrested and am calm if it turns out that ethnic profiling is the motive again. It's sad."
According to the rapper, this incident is not solely the fault of the police, but a problem in Dutch society. "I chose to share because this is not an isolated incident. The first step towards change is to admit that racism, discrimination and differentiation are still part of our culture."
On Tuesday the police released a statement saying that they regret what happened. The officers involved were immediately addressed. "It is important to us because the police must always stand for neutrality", district chief Arjan Mengerink said in the statement. "We must not select on appearance or ethnicity, and so we felt it was important to clarify this matter directly. The officers involved are well aware of their error in judgement and also acknowledged this immediately and frankly. What matters now is that we learn from it and we will definitely do so. Typhoon can count on our apologies."