Ask Candi Brandywine: Dealing With Police Profiling

@CandiBrandyWine is a full-time, professional advice columnist. You may contact her by email with your question, or you may follow her on Twitter and on Instagram.

"Dear Candi,

I’m a dark-sinned Latino who is often targeted by police officers, most likely because they think I’m African American. I’m torn on how to deal with this. On one hand, I am sick of being racially profiled. On the other, I’d feel weird playing up the fact I’m not black to get out of a ticket. Any suggestions on how to deal with this?"

So, how dark are we talking? I mean, like black black, or like mocha? I guess it doesn’t matter. I LOVE colored guys, and I am so happy to help you out! I like to think that I am the queen of getting out of tickets when cops pull me over. I still have a crystal clear record, and I’m certain that it’s because of all of these tips I’m about to enlighten you with.

Don’t be a target. What kind of a car are you driving? Because if it’s a stereotypical "colored person" vehicle, you have to ditch that A$AP and get yourself something like a Toyota Camry—they will never think it’s you in there. Decorate the outside with bumper stickers, such as inspirational quotes, those Christian fish stickers or something like "I Heart My Local Library!" You are sure to get out of seeing those flashing lights so frequently.

The kind of music you listen to (and how loudly you listen to said music) really determines if you attract cops or not. Stick to lower-than-normal volume levels, especially in town and around places you typically see officers frequenting. If it’s too late and you’re already being pulled over, switch your music immediately to something Christian, or country—NO CURSE WORDS!!! Come off as a very innocent individual (this has totes always worked for me).

It’s also important to take an interest in your officer. I prefer flirting my way out of things. Observe, honey! What is he wearing? Something blue? Does it match his eyes? Compliment him! "Mr. Officer, I just have to point out how well your uniform matches your eyes." Smile and be sincere. Is he wearing a wedding ring? "Oh my gosh! How long have you and your wife been married? She is SO very lucky to be with you." Add a wink if you’re feeling it. I used to be a barista at Dutch Bros and I ALWAYS used this card: "Hey, do you know Officer ____?! Oh my gosh, I totally used to make his coffee, like, every night before his graveyard shift! I just so appreciate how hard you all work for our community." A little distraction is always a good way to go.

If you’re getting pulled over, you’ll want to smell intoxicating, babes. Smell, after all, is one of the most important and strongest senses. Have a delightful fragrance mist ready! I recommend the Bath & Body Works car sprays. Scents like mahogany teak wood and sweet pea are winners for me, so far.

We all know how hungry we can get. Officers are no different! They’re people, too!!! So, always have snacks and non-alcoholic beverages on-hand. Police officers have V stressful jobs, and stress-eating may just be the ticket (haha, get it? TICKET?!), so offer him something in the same manner that your insurance agent’s office lady would. I mean, how mad can someone actually be when sipping on one of those adorbs juice boxes, munching on a protein bar? I mean HELLO!?

Image is everything. I hope you already know this, but I’m going to say it anyways. ONLY WEAR SEASONALLY APPROPRIATE ATTIRE!!! Why? You want to look your best and come off as V fashion-forward, and smart. I recommend ONLY buying clothing from high-end stores. Look expensive and less...umm, "Latino."

Is that beautiful skin of yours ashy, or on point? Rodan & Fields has a fabulous skin care system. It’s expensive as f*ck, so it must work, right? Just go ahead and start a skin-care regimen that leaves your pores small and your skin GLOWING.

If all else fails, CRY. Yup. Cry. Make up a story about how your daddy will literally kill you if you get one more ticket. This is your time to shine, sweetheart! Make it believable!

Luv ‘n’ Hugs!

—@CandiBrandywine ♡

Do YOU have a question for @CandiBrandyWine? Feel free to email her at [email protected] with your question. Or, if you’re brave, follow @CandiBrandyWine on Twitter and Instagram.

(Click Here For More Advice From @CandiBrandywine)

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