Today I was driving up I-70 Westbound. It was about 05:30, and I was driving a van full of cyclists and their bikes to Evergreen, CO. for the Triple Bypass event. It was my first time driving this particular van with the extended bike rack on the back with five bikes and going up the mountain in the early morning hours, with lots of other vehicles going to the same event.
I was doing the speed limit and indicated to move to the left lane; however, I did not consider the rear bike rack. I checked my mirrors, noticed the vehicle behind me and I had what I thought was enough space, and moved into the lane. I accelerated and moved into the lane; right after doing this, I saw blue and red lights.I thought, Woah, they must be after someone in front of me, checked my side mirrors, and moved over to the right lane again. After about 10 seconds, the lights came on again behind me again.CRAP! Those lights are for me.
I indicated to the right and slowed to pull over as far as I could on the shoulder. I put the van in park, turned on the lights, rolled down both front windows, took off my hat and mask, and placed my hands on the steering wheel. A Colorado State Patrol officer came up to my window in the dark. He was visibly agitated with me, and I could not understand why. He told me he was behind me when I did my initial lane change, and I almost hit his vehicle. WHAT!?!?! Then I remembered the extended bike rack.
Keeping my hands on the steering wheel, I explained that I was new to this vehicle. I then immediately informed him that I am a concealed carry permit holder, and I have my firearm with me on my right side. He asked for my license and registration. I told him my wallet is in my right back pocket (the same side as my gun). He said, ok, move slow and get my wallet.
Moving slowly, I reached for my wallet and pulled out my license and two concealed carry permits. The officer checked my details and gave me a warning, and let me go on my way.
What’s the point of this post, Dan? Simple. I interacted with the police in the dark with my gun, and I am alive to share the experience. I wasn’t shot in my vehicle or yanked from the car, thrown to the ground, and handcuffed.
Was it a little unnerving? Yes, however, I am sure the feeling was mutual. As a black man, I have to do certain things other people do not have to do. I teach my sons the same things; it is a part of life I accept.
Here are some facts, I live in a state with a black population of 4.16%, I carry a gun every day. Police officers have a dangerous job, and traffic stops are one of the most high-risk duties of an officer.
Mix that with half the country saying defund the police and that police are out to kill black men; this is why I felt I had to share my experience.
The moral of this story? Give Respect, Get Respect.
I didn’t catch the officer’s name but thank you to him and the @ColoradoStatePatrol. #BlackLivesMatterToo #policelivesmatter