Daily Mail, May 16, 2018
A New Jersey board of education member is being called to resign after she allegedly tried to ‘manipulate’ a police officer and attempted to use ‘civic privilege’ to avoid a ticket.
Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, a South Orange and Maplewood Board of Education, was pulled over on April 27 by officer Shaun Horst for ‘doing 37 in a 25’.
‘My name is Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad, I’m on the school board, I’m a community member of this town. I’m sorry if I was speeding,’ she can be heard telling the officer.
Muhammad — who can clearly be heard crying and distraught — then asks officer Horst if her daughter can exit the car so that she can walk to school, adding that she has another child that she needs to take to school as well.
She added: ‘And I’m scared of cops, because you guys hurt black people.’
The woman appears to be more concerned about her child’s safety and instructs her daughter to get out of the car.
She added: ‘And I’m scared of cops, because you guys hurt black people’
The woman grows more upset over the course of the conversation, instructing her kids to walk to school to stay safe and get there on time
‘Ma’am, do you want me to call an ambulance?’ the officer asked Muhammad, who grows irate at the suggestion.
‘That’s an insult,’ she retorts before the officer responds that she looked like she ‘might be having a panic attack, or some anxiety’.
‘That was a f*****g insult,’ she added.
Muhammad instructs her daughter to call her sibling and call the school and inform them to what happens before respectfully asking the officer if he could call the school for her.
The officer responds no.
When handing over her license and insurance, Muhammad is unable to find her most current copy of the latter and shares that she is ‘freaked out’ by the encounter.
Later on, Officer Horst re-approaches the vehicle and Muhammad can be heard sobbing and also seen trying to hand the officer a card.
The officer hands a summons to the woman for speeding and failing to have a valid insurance in her possession — which calls for a mandatory court appearance.
‘Now you want me to go to court? I don’t wanna go to court – I have insurance, he can text you a picture of it right now,’ says Lawson-Muhammad, whose husband can be heard in the background offering to send a picture of it.
The officer hands a summons to the woman for speeding and failing to have a valid insurance in her possession – which calls for a mandatory court appearance
But once the officer tells her that he can’t void the summons since it’s already been written, Muhammad blows her cool.
‘Then I’ll call Sheena, and your skinhead cop chief, too,’ she added. Sheena is the president of the village.
The video of Muhammad has circulated online and in a letter written Wednesday, Chairman of the SOMA Black Parents Workshop Walter Fields condemned the behavior she exhibited and the failure of the board president to act.
‘When viewing the video, it is clear that Board Member Lawson-Muhammad attempted to exercise her civic privilege during a routine traffic stop,’ Fields writes in his letter.
‘Board Member Lawson-Muhammad also infers that she is afraid of police, a reference that I believe attempts to manipulate the officer given the tensions between the African-American community and law enforcement.’
He added: ‘Under no circumstances is this behavior, from a public servant no less, acceptable, Ms. Lawson-Muhammad must resign her position.’
Along with his scathing condemnation of Muhammad, Field also accuses the board’s president — Elizabeth Baker — of failing to act when he first informed her.
‘It is our expectation that you will submit your resignation from the Board of Education for withholding such information from the Board and the public.
Fields concludes by commending the officer for his professionalism but ultimately calls on Muhammad to apologize for her actions.
‘Ms. Lawson-Muhammad must issue a public apology to this officer,’ he concluded.
Muhammad is married to the great-grandson of Elijah Muhammad named Khalil Gibran Muhammad.
Elijah Muhammad founder of the Nation of Islam.